Community Captain: Mike Comer

The Carolina Panthers have selected Mike Comer, Offensive Lineman at Newton-Conover High School, as a 2010 Community Captain.

The Carolina Panthers Community Captain program recognizes high school student-athletes who, through their hard work and dedication to their sport, their education, and their community are making a difference and demonstrate the potential to excel.

There is a lot riding on the shoulders of Lineman Mike Comer, but the Senior Captain is prepared for the extra weight. As a starter since his sophomore year, Comer has played for NC 2-AA State Champion and State Runner-up teams. At his high school, Comer also holds the prestigious "Red Club Champion" award for 2010. The "Red Club Champion" is a weightlifting award given to a student-athlete who has a GPA which exceeds a 3.0 and can lift more than 1,200 combined pounds on four different types of lifts (bench, squat, power clean, and jerk press). Comer's unweighted GPA was a 3.6 and he lifted 1,300 lbs.

However, it could be argued that Comer's greatest feats are not in the weight room or on the field. Chosen to represent the football team on Newton-Conover's Student Athletic Advisory Board, Code Red, Comer will participate in community service projects at the Conover School for he Disabled and Habitat for Humanity. His volunteer contributions do not stop there. Comer has volunteered to work the Catawba County Special Olympics and walk in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event each year throughout his high school career with plans to volunteer again this year. Comer also volunteers weekly working at the Catawba County Animal Shelter in the spring and summers when football is less demanding on his schedule. Most impressively, Comer advocates for SADD, Students Against Drunk Driving, encouraging his peers to follow in his footsteps.

"My father told my brother and me to be leaders…He always paraphrased an E.M. Kelly quote that said the difference between being bossy and leading is that a bossy person says, "do this," and a leader says, "let's do this". Leadership is an action, not words. I encourage my friends and peers to be stronger than the temptations that surround us and to lead others to make good decisions," Comer explains.

Going against the norms of the high school crowd often cause alienation and ridicule, but Comer is showing his teammates, friends, and peers that making the right choices can lead to endless possibilities. He is bringing others on board through his hard work and leadership, the epitome of a Community Captain.

The Carolina Panthers will recognize the 2010 Community Captain Award recipients during a special on-field ceremony during pre-game of our final home game on December 19th.

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