By Jim Sullivan
---- — WEST NEWBURY — Pentucket’s Cody Sedler has never known a world without soccer.
“There was never a time in my life where I didn’t know what soccer was, and wonder if I should play or not,” said the Sachems’ No. 1 goalkeeper. “Soccer is the most consistent thing in my life. When I wake up, I don’t know how my teacher is going to act. I don’t know how the students are going to act. But I know, every day when I wake up, I’m going to have soccer practice. Every day I wake up, I’m going to work my (tail) off at soccer practice.”
The junior has worked his tail off enough to make co-captain this year along with seniors Logan Sherwood, Mike Salmonsen and Spencer Kresge.
“Whatever position he wants to specialize in, he’s just going to be a star,” Sachems coach Christian Langlois said of Sedler. “He has that ability, and he chose to focus on goalkeeper. (But) he’s a great overall player. He thinks about the game, and he has a very good understanding of not only his position but everyone else’s.”
In fact, Sedler understands the game well enough that, when not in net, he’s been playing at the key position of center-midfield.
“I’m playing soccer so I need to have my touch,” said Sedler. “Just because I’m in goal doesn’t mean I can’t play soccer. I chose to play in that position. So, I always work on my touch, and I’m always running sprints and stuff. So, when we needed a center-mid, I could hold the position as best as I could.”
Sedler has held the position well enough for the 8-2-1 Sachems, scoring a goal in a 2-1 victory over Triton and an assist in a 1-1 tie against Hamilton-Wenham. But goals and even assists aren’t what make a good center-mid; it’s the ability to organize his fellow players, something that Sedler has put a lot of work into since he became the first freshman to play in net in Langlois’ tenure two years ago.
“He can play the field almost as well as the guys who play out there all the time,” Langlois said. “He wasn’t used to the running at first, but whenever he was on the field he was definitely effective. There were a lot of things that he could see that other kids didn’t, and it came from him watching the game from the goal and noticing certain patterns. And he was able to take advantage of that when he was playing the field.”
But now it looks as if Sedler’s 2013 time on offense is coming to an end. For the past two seasons, Sedler has split his time in net with Sherwood. But at the halfway point of the season, and with only two wins to go to clinch a tournament berth, Langlois said it is time to focus. Sedler will be the starting goalkeeper for the Sachems from here on in.
“He is confident,” Langlois said of Sedler in net. “He has unbelievable range. He can cover the entire goal from top corner to bottom corner. Some of the dives he has made in the last couple of games have just been incredible, and he’s also got a great foot.”
Langlois has also been happy to see that Sedler has become much more vocal in net of late.
“Last year I was a sophomore, and I was starting most of the games, but I was still just a sophomore,” said Sedler, who was named All-Cape Ann League goalkeeper last season, racking up 15 wins. “I was trying to direct people who were juniors and seniors and had a lot more experience in high school than me. But this year, I’m a junior, so I’m trying to direct people more because I feel like I am more in control with it.”
More in control and, perhaps, with a better perspective.
“To be honest, I’m not sure (playing midfield has) given me a better perspective in net. It’s give me a better perspective in helping the other players,” Sedler said. “If you take the ball, you need two to three touches to turn it. Not only do I see it now, but I was a part of it.”
The Sedler effect
Name: Cody Sedler
Accolades: Returning All-CAL keeper