IMAGE COURTESY OF MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Noah Carlson of Rushford is being 
honored by the Vikings for his leadership and academic achievements. In this file photo, he was honored for talents on the field as a running back.
IMAGE COURTESY OF MINNESOTA VIKINGS Noah Carlson of Rushford is being honored by the Vikings for his leadership and academic achievements. In this file photo, he was honored for talents on the field as a running back.
Rushford-Peterson’s Noah Carlson is currently one of the most celebrated high school athletes in southeast Minnesota.

Now, Carlson is adding another recognition to his acclaim. He will be recognized as one of eight “High School Scholar Athletes” at the 10th annual Minnesota Football Honors event hosted by the National Football Foundation.

On May 7, Carlson will be recognized alongside college and high school football students at an event to be held at the U.S. Bank Stadium. Members of the Minnesota Vikings will present the awards.

This award focuses on a students’ leadership skills while also taking into account volunteer work, quality of performance by the student athlete, and their academic accomplishment.

Apart from his high grade-point-average and his stellar accomplishments on the field, Carlson also volunteers for the track and basketball camps put on by Rushford-Peterson Community Education in the summer. He also helps to coach the youth tackle football league.

To Carlson, his demeanor on and off the field is such a big part of who he is, knowing that his actions affect the next generation of student athletes.

“I just try to set a good example for the youth, especially the ones that I’ve helped with the camps, and the ones that I coached,” shared Carlson. “I want to be seen as a great leader. Not just a great athlete, but a great person as well.”

Carlson is always pushing himself to be better – in all areas. He balances school with being a three-sport athlete and in his off time, he works at The Creamery.

This year, all three sports have seamlessly flowed together, going from playoffs of one sport to the opening meet or game of the next.

Now, he’s currently working to recapture a state title in track and field. He was first-place in the 200-meter dash, triple jump and long jump at state last year.

Learning how to manage his time has been a challenge, Carlson explained, but he’s grown in this area.

Carlson has just a month and a half left of his high school career. As he looks back upon his many accomplishments, he can’t help but point to the big team events such as the boys state basketball championship win in 2015 and winning the boys state title for track and field last season.

“I made such great memories with my friends over the past years, and it’s making me such a better person,” said Carlson.

When it comes to football, Carlson pointed to two specific players who helped him reach the goals he set for himself – Jake Paulson and Ethan Anderson.

“With Jake, everything we do is a competition. We’re both very competitive people, and we push ourselves to become better each day,” Carlson pointed out.

“(Ethan) helped me become the person I am, because he was always there for me, and we lifted in the summer every day, almost every morning. He really pushed me to become my best.”

At the end of the summer, Carlson will say goodbye to Anderson, Paulson and his other teammates as he heads to the University of Michigan to take part in their track and field program.

While Carlson may have toyed with possibly pursuing football as well, he’s relegated himself to solely pursuing greatness in track and field.

“I think two sports at the Division One level would be a little too much too handle,” he shared.

But for now, Carlson focuses on what is in front of him, namely the High School Scholar Award that he will receive in a month.

“I felt really honored to get that,” he said. “It felt fulfilling knowing that I’ve put in all of this effort.”

Tickets are available for purchase to attend the event at nffmn.org under the “Upcoming Event” tab.