"Ballhawk" Ballweg Snatches Opportunities

St. Marys’ Carter Ballweg reacts after intercepting a pass in last week’s Western Buckeye League football game against Bath.
Sports Editor

During last season’s 7-on-7 drills over the summer, coaches had a nickname for Carter Ballweg.

Carter “Ballhawk” Ballweg.

And the kid is living up to that name.

Missing out on the starting quarterback job this season to Braeden Dunlap, the senior has waited his turn for an opportunity to shine on Friday nights and Ballweg has taken advantage of that time.

“He is a kid who has really come on this year and we have a lot of kids who are contributing, which is a real good thing as we try to grow as a football team,” Roughriders coach Doug Frye said of Ballweg earlier this season.

In weeks one and two, fans saw what Ballweg could do on both sides of the ball. As a receiver split out wide, Ballweg hauled in a 33-yard TD pass from Ty Howell that served as a springboard for the Roughriders against Sidney in week one. On defense, Ballweg honed in those receiver-like skills with two interceptions in a 49-6 win against Ottawa-Glandorf a week later.

After a few playmaking weeks off, Ballweg made his presence felt again in week six against Elida with his best game of his life by intercepting three passes, returning two of them for a touchdown and efficiently running the Roughriders offense under center with the absence of Dunlap.

Now Ballweg has an opportunity to break a school record. 

The 6-foot-2 corner not only leads the team but also leads the Western Buckeye League in interceptions with seven and three more away from the next closest player and in return yardage, Ballweg’s 130 yards is 94 yards more than the next player. In terms of school records, Ballweg needs just two more interceptions to tie the school record for most in a single season, which was set by Craig Huwer in 1971.

In his first full season as a starter on defense, Ballweg has 30 tackles and four catches for 83 yards and a score on offense. He also ranks sixth on the team in total points with 18.

For the coaching staff, waiting to give Ballweg an opportunity at another position has paid off.

“Carter is a perfect example of our football program,” Frye said. “He exemplifies what we ask in our program. You may not get that time as a sophomore or junior, but if you keep plugging at it and keep working at it, you’re part of the team and you are coachable, eventually, you are going to contribute in some ways.

“Carter has performed in more than some ways and he has become a huge part of our football program.”