So, Noah Carpenter didn’t even play football his freshman season.

He would have, but it was 2020, and the coronavirus pandemic restricted high school football in Maine to 7-on-7 flag or two-hand touch.

Instead, he played golf.

Leavitt senior quarterback Noah Carpenter throws a pass during the Class C football state final against Oceanside at Lewiston High School on Nov. 18. Carpenter accounted for 44 touchdowns and 3,160 yards of total offense for the state champion Hornets this season. Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald

“It was 7-on-7 football and golf actually had a season where you could win a state championship, so I thought I’d give it a try,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter — who did compete in the golf state tournament that year — then played football the next three seasons, and recently completed one of the better individual seasons Maine has seen while helping Leavitt to one of the best seasons Maine has seen.

Many more accolades are certain to come, but so far Carpenter has been named the Campbell Conference’s Class C Player of the Year and, for the second straight season, he is the Sun Journal’s All-Region Football Player of the Year.


Though that freshman year didn’t involve football, it reveals some core characteristics that make Carpenter such a good football player.

The first is that he is an all-around athlete on the gridiron and away from it.

“Everybody knows that guy that could pick up a golf club and go play golf, can kick a ball, can throw a ball, can shoot a basket,” Leavitt football coach Mike Hathaway said. “He’s that dude.”

Carpenter is a standout on the baseball diamond as a pitcher, an infielder and a hitter. He played basketball for Leavitt as a freshman and sophomore. He can ice skate and even considered — thanks to the prodding of teammate Will Keach — playing hockey for the Leavitt/Gray-New Gloucester/Poland/Oak Hill Kings this winter.

Carpenter doesn’t have a soccer background, but he was the Hornets’ kicker and punter for all three of his football seasons, and he was so good at the latter that he was selected as the Campbell Conference’s first-team punter, to go along with his first-team selections as a quarterback and safety.

The other thing about Carpenter playing golf in 2020 is that his reason for doing so was to compete at the highest level possible that fall.


“Noah doesn’t want to lose at anything,” Hathaway said. “We had an intramural pickleball league last spring, and his team won that. And he was screaming and yelling and playing as hard as he could.

“I just love that competitiveness. I love coaching guys like that.”

Carpenter’s competitive drive is relentless, and it isn’t geared only toward winning. It’s also about improvement.

“You know, lots of times the more talented kids on your team maybe think they can get away with a little less effort or a little less concentration, but he’s the direct opposite of that,” Hathaway said. “He’s the loudest guy at practice every day, he’s the most energetic guy — always trying to learn. His love for football and his love to compete and be good at what he does, I appreciate that.”

Carpenter helped the Hornets go 11-0 and win their second consecutive state championship this fall.

He completed 63% percent of his passes for 1,798 yards and 21 touchdown passes, and he carried the ball 121 times for 1,362 yards (11.3 yards per carry) and 23 TDs. (Combined, that is 3,160 yards and 44 touchdowns.)


Last year, Carpenter was named the Gatorade Maine Football Player of the Year after helping the Hornets to a dominating perfect season and a Class C championship.

To be even better his senior season, and to more fully harness the Hornets offense, Carpenter focused on his decision making.

“I really talked with Hath over the summer about, you know, just keeping things simple, sticking to … the first check,” Carpenter said. “If you look at the first check and it’s there, take it, take what the defense is willing to give you … it being like 5 yards or 10 yards, rather than trying to force something 35 yards down the field.”

Leavitt quarterback Noah Carpenter runs during the Class C football state championship against Oceanside at Lewiston High School on Nov. 18. Carpenter, a senior, carried the ball 121 times for 1,362 yards and 23 touchdowns this season. Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald

Carpenter was just as brilliant at safety and made some of the Hornets’ biggest plays on defense, including batting down a fourth-down pass late in the win over Oxford Hills and sealing Leavitt’s regional final win with an interception in the end zone. That was one of five interceptions he had this season.

His talent for tackling (he had more than 100) allowed Leavitt to employ with different looks for its defense, such as putting Carpenter in the box and then sending one of the linebackers to help in pass coverage.

Hathaway considers former Lawrence standout and current University of Maine assistant coach Spencer Casey to be the standard for high school safeties. Carpenter, he said, is on that same level in the way he can impact a game defensively.



Carpenter and Leavitt’s other seniors finish their football careers with only one loss and an overall record of 29-1. They won their final 22 games.

This year, the Hornets were unbeatable despite a schedule that must have been the most difficult a Class C team has ever faced. Much has been made of their season, and much more will be made of it for years to come.

They took down Oxford Hills, the defending Class A champion; Thornton, the eventual Class A champ; and Class B state finalist Lawrence. They walloped Lewiston, a Class A playoff team, and twice beat Fryeburg, which finished the season ranked sixth in the Varsity Maine football poll.

At the center of it all was Carpenter, widely considered the best player in the state. However, Keach said, “If you ask him, he’s just another player on our team.”

“For such a talented kid,” Hathaway said, “and, really, such a confident kid, he’s a very humble kid at the same time. So, you know, he treats his teammates well, he looks out for his guys. He’s always praising his linemen. Just doing a lot of the things you would expect out of a leader of a team.”

The Hornets capped their season with a dominating 71-12 win over Oceanside in the Class C state title game. Carpenter completed 7 of 10 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran five times for 62 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown run.

For the most part, though, all he needed to do was distribute the ball to teammates and they made big plays — eight Hornets scored a touchdown in the state final. Carpenter, who is close to finalizing his college plans, said those are his favorite types of games.

“I get a lot of credit for, obviously, being the quarterback of the team,” Carpenter said, “but it’s in those games where, you know, it’s like, I’m not the only one on this team. There’s other key parts of this team, and that is the reason why we’re so good.”

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