Jon Codrey has already lived in seven different states and three countries, is a 6-foot-4 senior whose favorite sport is baseball, and recently moved from ultra-urban Indianapolis to decidedly non-metropolitan Mars Hill.
So learning to rebound and play the low post, cutting down on fouls while remaining a defensive force, and trying to lead your team to its third regional title in five years while playing your first season of high school varsity ball shouldn’t be too big a challenge. Right?
Based on his performance so far this season and the way he has taken to and been received by his new small-town community, right on.
It’s quite a contrast for the transfer student, but life at Central Aroostook High School and Mars Hill is quite agreeable to the Panthers’ newest power forward.
“It’s a big difference, but I guess I like it better because it’s more close-knit with my friends. I like it that everybody knows just about everybody,” Codrey said.
But what about all the activities and events attendant to cosmopolitan centers like Indianapolis?
“I guess there’s a lot more things to do there, but I really don’t miss it. I like this small-town setting better,” he said.
So did his parents, Sally and Rodney Codrey. Rodney, a retiring U.S. Army communications expert, wanted to move his family back to the state he and his wife grew up in.
Judging from his play on the court, the move has been agreeable with his son.
Despite not having played any high school ball before this season, Jon Codrey has worked his way into the starting lineup and is averaging 15.5 points, 14.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, and a surprising 3.5 steals per game for the Panthers, who sit atop the Eastern Maine Class D standings with a 5-4 record.
“We run a 1-2-1-1 press and he’s the deep man, so he intercepts a lot of long passes,” said Panthers coach Chris Casavant, who has only one complaint about Codrey.
“I wish I had him sooner because he’s easy to work with and he picks things up so quickly. He can really be a force. You can see there’s a lot of potential,” he added.
Codrey does have a younger brother, Jordan, who also plays ball and is only a sophomore.
Despite his success, Codrey sees plenty of room for improvement.
“I want to be the complete player,” said the 190-pound for “I want to be the complete player,” said the 190-pound forward. “Coach told me I can be around 19 points and 16 to 17 rebounds a game and that’s what I want to do – that and cut down my fouls. The main thing for me is helping us win an Eastern Maine championship.”
A lifelong baseball fan, Codrey may also give the Panthers’ baseball team a boost this spring. Codrey is a righthanded pitcher who also plays third base and bats lefthanded.
Due to his love of baseball and the presence of three All-Americans on his Lawrence Central High team, Codrey never played basketball at the 3,000-student school. He didn’t even take up hoops until he was 13 – in Germany, of all places.
“I started playing basketball for the German all-star team in middle school. It was just a way to meet people,” he explained.
Codrey has had little trouble making friends in Mars Hill.
“It was real easy. They just came up and started talking to me. I was asked about 200 times if I played basketball,” Codrey joked.
That’s what happens when you’re 6-4 and living in a basketball-crazy town.
Speaking of basketball-crazy, Codrey had an interesting take on the difference between high school hoops here and there, where it competes with big-time colleges, the NBA, and the NFL.
“They took it so serious there, it was more like business. High school ball has a great following in Indiana, but it’s so much bigger here [in everyday life],” he explained.
Just wait until tournament time.
Foxcroft Academy’s C.J. Ewer accomplished a wrestling milestone last weekend when he notched the 100th victory in his high school career.
Ewer, who improved his lifetime record to 104-14, has won 55 straight matches dating back to the start of the 1996-97 season.
“He’s only the second guy in school history, I think, to win 100,” said FA coach Gary Wakeland. “He’s slick and a good technical wrestler. There isn’t a move that he hasn’t been able to counter, and it’s all instinctive.”
Ewer, who won conference, regional, and state titles in the 145-pound class last year, is 17-0 after moving up to 152 this season.
“Back when I was in seventh grade, I saw a kid from Bucksport [win 100] and that was something I wanted to do. It feels great, like all the work I’ve put in has really paid off,” Ewer said.