One of the best problems to have as a sports editor is trying to decide which of the state championships from the weekend merits prime billing in Monday’s newspaper.
This particular sports editor had that problem Saturday when the Newburyport girls soccer team’s state championship occurred only a few hours after Newburyport junior Nick Carleo won a Division 2 All-State Cross-Country championship.
Nine days remain in the high school football season for local schools, but for now, let’s hand out the superlatives for the fall sports season excluding football.
Most Likely To Break Someone’s Spirit: Nick Carleo, Newburyport
Talk to Carleo about running, and he almost sounds as if he’s describing hunting. “I wanted to sit on (my opponent) and make a move late ... I ended up breaking him somehow.” Carleo spoke those words about the favorite in the Division 2 All-State Championships, Burlington’s Paul Hogan.
Carleo has been blessed with running genes as the son of Tom Carleo, who qualified for the 1988 Olympics in the metric mile. He has the work ethic, as is evidenced by his 60 miles per week of training last summer. He has the smarts, as is evidenced by his ability to recite running times from meets that occurred two years ago. Of all Carleo’s traits, the one that may have pushed him to an All-State championship is his competitiveness.
Most Likely To Direct Traffic: Aly Leahy, Newburyport
Some may have found it strange to hear that Leahy was named All-New England for this reason: She was the center back for a team that rarely played in its own defensive end. However, if you watched Newburyport down the stretch, you saw that Leahy was a coach on the field for the Clippers, as well as an excellent positional defender. She also took many of Newburyport’s free kicks. Although it may seem that Newburyport’s last line of defense before the goalkeeper would not be very busy during a game, the opposite was true. Standing anywhere near Newburyport’s goal during a game resulted in a tutorial on position defense from Leahy.