FAIRFIELD, Maine — Spencer Carey, the two-way standout who led Lawrence High School to back-to-back Eastern Maine Class A football championships in 2011 and 2012, has made a verbal commitment to continue his playing career in that sport at the University of Maine beginning next fall.
“I’ve always wanted to play Division I football, and the University of Maine gave me the best opportunity to do that,” said Carey, who added that he has accepted the offer of a half-scholarship from the Black Bears.
Carey, a 6-foot-2-inch, 200-pound quarterback and safety for coach John Hersom’s Lawrence club, is expected to play strong safety at the college level.
“In that position he’ll be able to use his physicalness as well as his athleticism,” said Hersom.
Carey made an official visit to the Orono campus last weekend. He also made an unofficial visit to Holy Cross last summer.
Carey was named the Pine Tree Conference Class A co-player of the year last fall after leading Lawrence to the conference championship and a matchup against Thornton Academy of Saco in the state final.
The Bulldogs led at halftime of that game before Thornton Academy rallied for a 37-23 victory. Carey completed 7 of 15 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown against the Trojans.
Carey, the 17-year-old son of Jim and Gisele Carey of Fairfield, subsequently was named a semifinalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy, which is presented each year to the top senior player-sportsman in the state’s high school football ranks.
Carey also played a key role on the 2011 Lawrence football team that reached the Class A state title game before falling to Cheverus of Portland.
During his last two years of football at Lawrence, the Bulldogs compiled a 22-2 record.
“One of the things we’ve felt Spencer has continued to show us is a great willingness to be coached,” said Hersom. “He’s always been anxious to develop both offensively and defensively and he’s looked at that as the best way to maximize his skills, so as we worked to try to advance from week to week he definitely was spearheading that effort and he showed to us that he was a great leader in wanting to be coached, he was aggressive with that.
“Another thing with Spencer is his work ethic, it seems he does want to be athletically and physically geared toward the kind of game and the number of hours a program like Maine will require. I think that’s something he’ll enjoy and eat up.”
Carey, a starting forward for the 11-4 Lawrence basketball team this winter, already has identified at least two areas he’ll focus on in anticipation of joining the University of Maine football program.
“I definitely need to improve my speed, and I’ll have to get used to tackling bigger guys,” said Carey, who has not yet determined his field of academic study.
He’s expected to formalize his commitment to UMaine on Feb. 6, the first day of the National Letter of Intent signing period for football.
Carey’s coming to Maine is contingent upon his acceptance into the school and his meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.