Football Player of the Year: Noah Carpenter, Leavitt – Press Herald

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The junior quarterback rushed for over 1,000 yards and threw for over 2,000 yards to help lead the Hornets to a perfect season and the Class C title.
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In three playoff games, Leavitt quarterback Noah Carpenter threw nine touchdown passes and ran for six touchdowns in leading the Hornets to the Class C state championship. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal
Hoisting the Gold Ball and seeing the look of pride on his Leavitt Area High football coaches, and the joy among the team’s fans, was something Noah Carpenter will always remember.
Noah Carpenter
“You get to raise that Gold Ball and I’ve never felt anything like it before,” Carpenter said.
But when Leavitt’s junior quarterback/strong safety/punter/kicker and do-it-all performer is asked about his most memorable moment of the Hornets’ 11-0 season, it wasn’t the 46-6 Class C state championship game victory over Medomak Valley or even the redemptive 43-0 smack-down of 2021 champion Cape Elizabeth in the regional final.
It was a time when there were no fans or spectators. Just the players and coaches working during a bye week to prepare for their playoff opener against Cheverus.
“That was really the best practices I’ve ever been a part of,” Carpenter said. “It was just kind of this special feeling. We could have taken that week off. Could have had light practices. But it was something where everyone felt, ‘We’ve got to work.’ Everything was flowing and the connection and bonding with our team, it was incredible.”
Twelve minutes into the playoff opener, Leavitt led 36-0. Carpenter had thrown four of what would be six touchdown passes and scored on a 64-yard run.

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It was the start of a dominant playoff run over three games for Carpenter and Leavitt. The sturdy 6-foot, 185-pound junior threw for nine touchdowns and ran for six, including scoring scampers of 64, 49, 23 and 60 yards.
That finished a season in which Carpenter rushed for 1,174 yards and 22 touchdowns on 108 carries (10.9 yards per carry). He completed 119 of 190 passes for 2,006 yards and 27 touchdowns. He converted 10 of 13 point-after kicks, ran or passed for 17 2-point conversions, punted in both traditional and rugby-style formats (picking up three first downs on fakes), and made 77 tackles on defense.
Leavitt quarterback Noah Carpenter high-steps down the field against Cape Elizabeth during the Class C South championship game. Carpenter rushed for 237 yards on 16 carries in the Hornets’ 43-0 win. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal
“He can do anything. He could start at virtually every position on the field,” said Leavitt Coach Mike Hathaway. “He’d be a good offensive lineman. He’s really a football player who impacts the game in so many ways.”
Carpenter’s performance and leadership qualities make him our choice as the Varsity Maine Football Player of the Year. It was not an easy decision. Oxford Hills senior quarterback Eli Soehren also had an outstanding season throwing, running and kicking while leading the unbeaten Vikings to the Class A title. Cape Elizabeth senior receiver/running back Nick Laughlin also earned consideration.
Carpenter, 16, who lives in Greene, had shown during his sophomore season that he had the physical skill to take over as the Hornets’ quarterback. He shared the role in 2021 with senior Hunter Hayes.
Hathaway said his only concern entering the season was if Carpenter could handle the position’s leadership demand on a senior-heavy team.

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“He was just tremendous in that regard,” Hathaway said. “If you’re the best player and really set the tone with your work ethic and your communication and your discipline, then everyone tends to fall in line.”
Carpenter and the Hornets also showed they could step up in class and still get the job done. In the second game of the season, Leavitt went to Fitzpatrick Stadium and beat Portland, 42-8. Carpenter rushed for three touchdowns. Portland would go on to win the Class B South title.
“He was the best player we saw this year, along with (Oxford Hills receiver Teigan) Pelletier,” said former Portland Coach Jason McLeod.
The next week, Leavitt rolled over Class A Lewiston, 53-21. Carpenter ran for three scores and passed for two. The Hornets also beat Class B Lawrence, 34-20, with Carpenter running for two touchdowns and throwing for three.
Hathaway said that one of Carpenter’s best traits is that he’s able to play faster “with the ball tucked under his arm than he is in a 40-yard dash.” That’s partly attributable to his preparation, Hathaway said.
“This year, he was getting all the reps as the first-team quarterback and just how connected he was with the game plan and what the other team was doing. His anticipation was at such a higher level,” Hathaway said.
Carpenter is also a talented baseball player and a good student.
“Whether it be baseball or football, I’m still kind of on the line. But I know I would definitely love to play a college sport,” Carpenter said.
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