McEachern breaks record once held by 1993 Minnesota Mr. Basketball

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Athlete of the Week for December 14: Carter McEachern

Thunder senior forward Carter McEachern looks for a teammate during Zimmerman's 100-77 loss against Princeton on Dec. 10. McEachern scored 26 points in the loss and set a District 728 record for points in a game when he scored 46 in the Thunder's 110-102 overtime win against Chisago Lakes on Dec. 3.

On Dec. 3, Carter McEachern broke a record once held by a beloved Elk River basketball player.

McEachern scored 46 points in Zimmerman’s 110-102 overtime win over Chisago Lakes, a District 728 record once held by former Elk River Star Skipp Schaefbauer. Schaefbauer won the 1993 Mr. Basketball for Minnesota and the Star Tribune’s 1993 Metro Player of the Year. He played for East Carolina University and Illinois State during the late 1990s.

McEachern, who also was Zimmerman’s starting quarterback during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, idolized Schaefbauer when he was younger. Now, he is making his own mark more than 25 years after Schaefbauer graced the floor alongside his father.

“I’ve idolized him and watched some of their film and try to incorporate some of his game into mine,” Carter McEachern said. “It’s a pretty proud moment to come out and do something that big for the district and beat Mr. Schaefbauer.”

During the 2018-19 regular season, McEachern averaged 22.9 points per game. He is still considering which sport to play in college. He has a passion for both sports. McEachern’s favorite subject in school is math.

McEachern’s father, Casey, said he had a very warm feeling when his son broke the record.

“When he broke it, it was like when you have a vision when your little,” Casey McEachern said. “He actually listened to some of the things that he watched. He made something happen from us watching a player like Skip on TV. It was a great feeling. It was a very humbling experience to see my son accomplish that feat.” 

Zimmerman head coach Nathan Christensen said McEachern is a vocal leader and one of the best athletes the Thunder has ever had. Yet Christensen thinks McEachern is more focused on winning games than being the star of the show.

“I know what he wants—to win some games,” Christensen “He puts in the work. He’s willing to put in the time to get those wins and help the team succeed.”

The younger McEachern is also actively involved in his community. He attends Christ Our Light Catholic Parish in Zimmerman and teaches Sunday school.  In the words of Dr. Seuss, he has a heart that isn’t two sizes too small. That line, ironically, comes from the author’s classic Christmas story, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” 

“I’ve had numerous parents come up to me this year, which is nice as a father when you hear good things about your child,” Casey McEachern said. “There was a kid who just moved here that didn’t have a ride for football and didn’t know if he really wanted to play. He had a hard time getting to know each other. Carter took his time to pick him up every morning before school, bring him to practice.

“With kids in school, he’ll always sit down and take his time for lunch or he’ll go to classrooms and talk to them about being a role model and stuff like that. Without sports, I believe Carter’s best attribute would be his heart [and] his compassion for other humans.” 

With the holiday season just around the corner, expect McEachern not only to dish out assists but to put a smile on a child’s face or to be an active member of his community.

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