Working side by side with a sibling or any family member could sound like a dream to some and alarming to others. Coming into their second year as head coaches for Desert Edge High School football, twin brothers Marcus and Mark Carter couldn’t see each other working with anyone else.
“It’s a blessing,” Marcus said. “We work together. We teach together. We carpool together. We eat lunch together, and we live 5 minutes away from each other. We do everything together. It’s a blessing to be able to work beside my brother every single day. We love it.”
Marcus and Mark have been coaching football together for almost 20 years. Together they have won two state championships and nine regional championships with the past schools they have coached for. The Carter brothers are looking to lead Desert Edge to a few championships of its own and are currently starting the 2021-22 season off the same way they did last year: Together, like always, and strong.
In last year’s 2020-21 season, their first season as head coaches at Desert Edge, the Carter brothers led the Scorpions to shut out Canyon View 56-0 in the first game of the season. In this year’s 2021-22 season of Scorpion football, the Carter brothers have led the team to another early shutout victory against Westview, defeating the Knights 58-0 in just the second game of the season, both of which occurred on their home field in Goodyear.
Last year, the Scorpions finished off the regular season with an undefeated record of 8-0. Following their 2020-21 season, Desert Edge then went on to compete in the Open State Championship playoffs. The championship includes eight football teams from the top 6A and 5A high school teams in Arizona, and Desert Edge was one of them.
Looking ahead to another strong season of Desert Edge football with a current 3-1 start to the 2021-22 season, the Carter brothers are feeling good with the way things have started for the team.
“So far, so good. We’re winning right now, and our goal is to beat one and then another each week, and right now we are on our way.” Marcus said.
Since Marcus and Mark arrived in Goodyear as the Desert Edge head coaches, the Scorpions have made a jump up in both division and state rankings. However, to the Carter brothers, that isn’t something they choose to focus on.
“It’s for the kids. We don’t really look at the rankings,” Marcus said. “We just want to win football games, build young men in the process, and let the chips fall where they may.”
“For us, standings just kind of let us know we’re on the right track,” Mark added. “The standard is the standard, but we are just trying to win football games for these young men. We’re not going to be perfect, but we’re trying to get to perfection.”
As head coaches at a 5A school in Arizona, the Carter brothers look beyond rankings and standings. Helping the young men become successful is important.
The main focuses, coaching style and examples the Carter brothers set for the team are definitely something the Scorpion football players see and truly appreciate.
“What I love most about playing high school football and this team is that it feels like family,” senior Fabian Lopez said. “Our head coaches always stick together through both the hard times and the good times.”
“I love everything about their coaching style,” senior Breshaun Brown added. “They let us be competitive in practice and they let us talk in practice, and with my past coaches we couldn’t. During practice, we get to be competitive and talk not just with each other but with the coaches, too. That’s the type of family mentality the team has.”
A strong brotherly bond is certainly something that has the capability of setting a great example of teamwork, collaboration and camaraderie. At Desert Edge, the football players can see an incredibly strong brotherly bond between their two head coaches. This helps the players incorporate both the lessons of brotherhood and the ways of a strong brotherly bond they learn from Marcus and Mark into every practice and the way they play on Friday nights.
“I don’t know what it’s like without my twin brother,” Mark said. “Not having him, or not having him at all, would be catastrophic, in my opinion. Just being here, I love it. I love him more than anything, and this is what we do.”