'A very fun-loving young man'
15-year-old from Reading is remembered as a quick witted, talented hockey player.
READING — Talented, team leader and fun-loving are just a few words people use to describe 15-year-old Carter Braun.
Braun, who died Saturday afternoon as a result of a one-vehicle rollover near Lismore, will certainly be missed by many, said Luverne Bantam Hockey Head Coach Mark Schlosser.
The incoming sophomore at Adrian High School was a three-sport athlete. The son of Andy and Kim Braun was active in football, baseball and the Luverne hockey program.
It was his hockey talent and sense that couldn’t be taught, his coaches agree.
Having racked up 55 goals and 28 assists in last season's 29 games, Schlosser called Braun the best player on the team.
“I firmly believe he would have played Division I hockey,” he said of Braun, who also competed in a junior hockey league with the Sioux Falls, S.D. Stampede.
Although smaller in size, natural skating ability and speed were his weapons on the ice.
“It was so deceptive,” Schlosser said about Braun’s powerful skating ability. “He would just roll by people.”
Despite his smaller size, Braun wasn’t one to shy away from the physical side of the game. Schlosser said he’d get in the corners and dish out hits like anyone else.
He thrived on competition, which in select practices included brotherly competition between he and older brother, Easton.
An assistant captain, coaches considered Braun a team leader who made every player better.
“Every single kid on the team — doesn’t matter if they were younger or the same age — they all looked up to him,” Schlosser said.
That’s what Cathy Shearer will remember about him, too. Shearer — who had known Braun since he was about 5 — said ever since Braun competed in the squirt and peewee hockey levels, he routinely played with kids older than him due to his ability.
“He would be playing with older players who were bigger and stronger but he would always prove to everyone that he belonged there,” Shearer said. “Carter was a great scorer, but he was also a great play-maker who wasn’t afraid to pass the puck to a teammate and let them score.”
Shearer’s son, Shaid, played hockey with Braun for many years. He remembers him as someone who was always telling jokes.
“He was a person that could fit into any group,” Shaid said.
Luverne boys varsity hockey coach Phil Paquette said he was just getting to know Braun, as he’d recently participated in some summer tournaments on the varsity team, where coaches expected he’d play next season.
What struck Paquette about Braun was his energy for the game.
“He was there, he was ready to play and he showed up and had a smile on his face about it,” Paquette said. “He thought about the game in a lot of ways that other kids don’t.”
One of Schlosser's best memories of Braun was as the kid who always brought a speaker into the locker room.
“He played the worst music," Schlosser said, chuckling. "Everybody was always yelling at him to change the music."
Around Christmastime, Braun blared Mariah Carey’s popular ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You.’
“He had the whole (dang) team singing along with him,” Schlosser said. “This is before the game, and they’re supposed to be playing pump-up music. It was pretty funny.”
That’s just the type of personality Braun had.
“Carter was a very fun-loving young man,” said Adrian Middle/High School Principal Cate Koehne. “He had a great sense of humor and always ready with a funny comeback. He will be missed."
Bantam assistant coach Brian Arends said Braun was the type of player every coach wishes to have on their team.
“We were just lucky enough to have him on ours,” he said.