|Cody Carbone scored his 100th point of the season last Thursday. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)|
Cody Carbone puts a face on his sport
Talent, hard work make him a standout in North Reading
Cody Carbone struck just 59 seconds in, stiff-arming his way through the Lynn English defense before firing the ball from the inside into the back of the net. The junior midfielder trotted back to the North Reading sideline afterward, unassuming, his head down.
The goal was his 100th point of the season, a notable milestone. He is the first player in the seven-year history of the program to reach 100 points in a single season.
What has made Carbone an elite player? Talent and a strong work ethic.
But his presence extends beyond the field. Named the Cape Ann League’s Division 3 Player of the Year this season, he has emerged as the face of the program.
Carbone has the added responsibility of becoming the first real lacrosse representative at North Reading.
“If you ask kids in the hallway about Cody, they immediately think of lacrosse,’’ seven-year coach Chuck Campobasso said. “While we’ve been growing as a program, we’ve had a lot of kids that lacrosse is the sport they’re doing in the spring. They are hockey players, or they are football players. Cody is one of the first kids that when you think of him, you think of him as a lacrosse player.’’
Carbone also plays hockey, earning a Cape Ann League honorable mention this season as a forward.
But his dedication and skill in lacrosse sets him apart from the Hornets’ other multisport athletes. He plays lacrosse year-round, suiting up for the Fighting Clams in the summer and fall while playing indoor lacrosse during the winter.
Last season, Carbone learned as much as he could from midfielder Derek Marenholz, then a senior, who led the team with 75 points.
“He was ahead of me and kept me humble,’’ Carbone said. “I always knew I was a good player on the team, but he was better. He pushed me in practice. I had someone to look up to.’’
Marenholz set an example that inspired Carbone to work even harder in the offseason. He played wall ball constantly and shot for hours on a net in his driveway.
“For Cody, last year was a year of tutelage,’’ Campobasso said. “He was able to sit back and let this other guy lead the offense to give Cody time to develop. Being able to play with him last year allowed Cody to see that he has talent and ability if he works at it. It set something off in him, and we’re seeing the results of that now.’’
Carbone finished North Reading’s 18-2 regular season with 104 points, and also owns the program’s career high (192) through his first three seasons. Marenholz finished with 126.
At 5-foot-9, Carbone is not the tallest player on the field, but he uses his speed to deke through defenses. On his 101st point, Carbone somehow held onto the ball despite falling twice because of the defensive pressure and finally stiff-armed past the defenders to find senior midfielder Mike O’Boyle, who put the ball away to give North Reading a 2-0 lead .
“Sometimes you draw up plays, but it’s just like, Cody can score,’’ said junior midfielder Eric Valenti. “We all have confidence in Cody. He goes lefty so much that teams say he’s a lefty, but he’s really a righty. It’s just nice to know that if you need a goal, you have a player who can always get it.’’
Carbone was particularly effective in a mid-May game against Manchester-Essex. North Reading lost the first meeting, 7-6, but Carbone exploded for 10 points (7 goals, 3 assists) in the rematch to power the Hornets to an 18-4 win.
“It was his day,’’ Manchester-Essex coach Nate Levie said. “He’s a very talented player. His skill with his left hand makes him extremely effective, and he has a lot of speed, a very good shot, and he dodges with his head up, so he can still shoot and score when he draws a double-team.’’
With his skills and accomplishments, Carbone has garnered lots of attention from opposing coaches and fans. But he cherishes the attention he gets from younger players the most.
“I really enjoy the attention, because I like having younger kids look up to me,’’ Carbone said. “I just try to be a role model, and it helps keep me humble. Now that we’re winning, everyone else has started paying a lot more attention to lacrosse, and other kids are starting to play a lot. It’s nice to see.’’
At Mystic Valley, Roseen gets 100 In Malden, Mystic Valley senior Taylor Roseen also became the first 100-point scorer in program history. The 6-foot-4 attack collected 61 goals and 40 assists.
Mystic Valley is now in its third year as a varsity program, and Roseen has improved each year. He finished with 40 points as a sophomore and 61 last season.
“The biggest thing for him is just he’s a very intelligent kid,’’ coach Marty Horkan said. “He’s been a sponge. He has a good lacrosse IQ and does not get rattled.’’
Roseen will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute next year to pursue engineering, but the school does not have a lacrosse program.
Like many students at Mystic Valley, academics come first for Roseen, and that emphasis is something that Horkan said is a boost for his team.
“I can pull them in for a timeout and very quickly explain something,’’ Horkan said. “If I pull the offense in, they can visualize it very quickly, because the school has high academic standards and they really do achieve. It definitely helps when you have kids who are bright and who can understand things like that.’’
Arielle Aronson can be reached at email@example.com.