On Harrison Carter's right arm is a bulky brace. He says he doesn't notice the device, even though it runs a couple of inches from his shoulder down to his wrist.
Sometimes, he says he cannot feel the brace when he's on the football field for Corona del Mar High. The defensive end blocks it out of his mind when he plays. Adrenaline helps him push through the pain.
Afterward, when the game ends, Carter's elbow is almost the same color as the brace.
"My elbow's all black and blue," Carter says. "My whole arm, my finger and my hand, everything … gets puffy.
"I'm not going to let it bother me."
The reason Carter wears the brace is because he hyperextended his elbow in training camp. He says he hasn't missed a practice because of the injury.
The brace allows Carter to play and do what he likes to do best, harass the quarterback.
Quarterbacks are beginning to brace themselves whenever Carter hits them. That can be problematic when they don't see the junior coming for them.
Twice last week at Laguna Hills, Carter blindsided the quarterback and forced fumbles. Both times, Carter says he didn't know right away that his sacks caused fumbles.
The Hawks' offense recovered the first loose ball late in the opening quarter. The second, one of Carter's teammates scooped up the ball and returned it for an 18-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
When Carter saw defensive end Parker Chase dancing in the end zone, he figured the quarterback lost the ball again.
"It's just a good feeling knowing that I'm helping one of my [defensive] linemen get in [the end zone]," says Carter, adding that he was all for Chase's touchdown celebration after he gave the Sea Kings a 21-0 lead, before they went on to win, 35-14. "Any time we score [as a defensive player], we're going to make sure we remember that moment for the rest of our lives.
"The spike between the legs, and then the fist pound to the ground, I don't think I've seen a better end zone dance."
For the second straight year there is a Carter making plays for CdM. This time, the Carter is performing on the defensive side.
Carter spent most of last season on the sideline, watching his older brother, Cayman Carter, lead the Sea Kings as the quarterback. They won a lot, a 5-0 Pacific Coast League title, CdM's first undefeated league crown in the program's history, and a second straight CIF Southern Section Southern Division title.
While the younger Carter says he felt a part of last year's team, missing nine of the 14 games was tough for him. Carter says he dealt with a collarbone issue, then a concussion. He says he never felt right.
The missed time motivated Carter to get stronger in the off-season. He gained 20 pounds and grew a couple of inches.
At the start of camp last month, Carter, at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, came in healthy and ready to contribute. Then in the team's first scrimmage, he banged up his elbow.
The injury happened, Carter says, when his arm got bent backward in a pile. At first, he says he thought it was a stinger.
When he got home, Carter found out the severity of the injury.
"It swelled up like crazy," Carter says of his elbow. "It looked like I had two [right] elbows."
The setback didn't slow Carter down much. He vowed that it would not, especially not after an injury-riddled season.
He got the brace to help protect the elbow and prevent it from hyperextending again. Carter says it took a little time getting used to the device.
After a while, strapping it on became as routine as strapping on his helmet.
Carter says he might wear the brace for the rest of the season. His coach, Scott Meyer, always asks how he's holding up with the brace. Carter's answer is always the same, "I'm fine."
Carter wants to impact the Sea Kings as much as he can. He has so far, as they're 2-0. He is a vital part of CdM's stingy defense, which is only allowing seven points and 43 rushing yards per game this year.
Carter says his brother has seen CdM's games through a software program online. The Sea Kings upload their games and practices online, allowing Cayman, who is a walk-on football player at Southern Methodist University, to follow his brother and the team.
The two brothers are close. They talk and text often. Whenever the older one offers advice, the younger brother listens.
Cayman played the position his brother likes to pursue. And he did at a high level last year, earning the All-CIF Southern Section Southern Division Offensive Player of the Year award.
Carter remembers how difficult it was for defenses to bring down his brother last year.
"He's a fighter," Carter says.
You can say the same thing about the Carter with the bulky brace strapped onto his right arm.
Hometown: Newport Beach
Born: Aug. 13, 1996
Weight: 210 pounds
Position: Defensive end
Coach: Scott Meyer
Favorite food: In-N-Out Double-double hamburger
Favorite movie: "Step brothers"
Favorite athletic moment: "Winning CIF the second time."
Week in review: Carter forced the quarterback to fumble twice on sacks, one leading to an 18-yard touchdown return by the defense, as the Sea Kings won at Laguna Hills, 35-14. Carter finished with four tackles.