PLYMOUTH, Mass. – It’s a predicament that’s posed to any athlete who’s coming off a record-breaking year: how to follow it up?
Plymouth North’s Christian Carr ran for 1,765 yards last season, marking an Eagles’ single-season record. Carr set the record with a statement, while going off for 351 yards in a sectional semi-final playoff win over Dighton-Rehoboth. While earning repeat honors as an Atlantic Coast League (ACL) all-star, he finished with 19 touchdowns on the season.
Carr doesn’t see a slow-down in sight. Apparently, he plans on one-upping himself.
“I’m trying to surpass my achievements last year and, hopefully, get to the [state championship],” he said during Tuesday’s practice.
Carr paused, then added coyly: “Nothing too big.”
The senior’s name now carries clout across the state and, as a result, Carr will be marked man in the Eagles’ backfield. That is, if anybody can find him emerging out of the thicket of tall timbers on North’s offensive line. Carr is listed at 5-foot-4 and 150 pounds on his official Hudl recruiting page.
“It’s an advantage, actually,” Carr said, referencing the trend to smaller backs in the NFL, including Darren Sproles and Danny Woodhead. “They have to get lower to tackle me. It’s even harder for them, that helps me. If I was taller, people could easily get me down by my legs, but now they have to get even lower. It’s harder to tackle someone if they’re already so low.”
As Carr will remind you, however, he didn’t do it alone. He referenced North’s offensive line as the driving force behind his record 2013 campaign. That unit also returns four of its starters from last season, two of whom (Justin Cabral and Brian Proctor) played as sophomores last year. North head coach Kevin Cobban is optimistic that senior Jack Gallagher – who he labeled as their “best offensive lineman” – has returned from the injury that forced him out of the lineup past Week 2 last year. There’s also versatility among the group in senior center/guard Gavin Johnson.
“We had a good offensive line last year, and it takes ten other guys to help [Carr] out,” Cobban said. “We’re a physical football team, we want to run the football and there’s no better kid than [Carr]. He’s a hard-nosed kid. He plays bigger than his 5-foot-5.”
While North’s offensive philosophy remains in place, both Cobban and Carr hinted that there could be more opportunities for returning three-year starter quarterback Cullin Cosgrove to air it out.
But the most significant change for the Eagles will come in their schedule, as the school shifts its conference affiliation from the ACL to the Patriot League.
“It doesn’t change anything,” Carr said. “If we play like we can, we should do good. It doesn’t depend on the league, it’s about how we play.”