Forrest Carvajal

photo by Matt Covington
photo by Matt Covington

Forrest Carvajal is the founder of Pond Creek Duck Calls and co-host of the Off the X podcast. He graduated from Arkansas High School in 2006 and lived in Texarkana, Arkansas, until 2008, when he moved to Conway, Arkansas.

Raised by his grandparents, JoEllen and Gary Sutton, Forrest was actively involved in sports from a young age, with a particular affinity for baseball and golf. His talent in golf earned him a scholarship to Central Baptist College in Conway, Arkansas, where he met Leah, his future wife. The couple have been married for 16 years and have two sons, Reed (8) and Hudson (4).

What is your favorite Texarkana memory?

Some of my fondest memories of Texarkana revolve around my hobbies. Duck hunting at Pond Creek NWR and fishing at Millwood and Wright Patman were always highlights for me. Additionally, I spent countless hours playing golf, particularly enjoying the courses in the area. South Haven, which is now New Haven, holds a special place in my heart as my home course.

Where was your favorite place to shop in Texarkana? Any interesting story to tell about that place?

During my time in Texarkana, golf was a major part of my life, and Golf USA was my go-to spot for all things golf-related. Nowadays, hunting and fishing have taken center stage in my hobbies, making Baits N Blades my preferred stop whenever I’m passing through town.

Were you a Hawk, Leopard, Razorback, or Tiger?

As a Razorback, during my time in Texarkana, golf played a significant role in my high school experience at Arkansas High. Although we never officially competed against Texas High, we always considered them a fierce rival. Both teams boasted strong talent, fostering a healthy competitive spirit that added excitement to our matches.

Who is someone from Texarkana who impacted your life?

My high school golf coach, Charlie Bateman, made a profound impact on my teammates and me. He went above and beyond to provide us with opportunities and equipment to enhance our skills. What stood out most was his unwavering support and recognition of our efforts, regardless of our performance. Coach Bateman’s encouragement and genuine appreciation for our hard work meant the world to me.

What do you love about Texarkana?

I can go from city to country pretty quickly. I love to get out and hunt or fish, depending on the season, but also, having all the food options close by in town is really nice.

What do you think makes Texarkana famous?

I always tell my friends that Arkansas High was the Razorbacks before the University of Arkansas was the Razorbacks. That’s my biggest claim to fame for Texarkana.

What do you miss about Texarkana?

What I miss the most about Texarkana is the shaved ice. For some reason, everywhere else in Arkansas thinks snow cones are shaved ice, and anyone who grew up in Texarkana knows there is a major difference.

photo by Matt Covington

TXK Roots is Texarkana Magazine’s forum to highlight and honor Texarkana natives who have accomplished big things in the world. These folks may have relocated, but they took the values, education, work ethic and creativity instilled in them by growing up in this unique border city and used these qualities to blaze extraordinary trails. We asked them to share their thoughts about growing up here. No matter how far from Texarkana they may find themselves, we will always consider them our neighbors and we are proud to claim them as forever members of our extended Texarkana community. After all, “everyone is famous in their hometown!”

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