Last we checked in with Cam Charette, the Fairhaven High graduate was a sophomore starting quarterback at Worcester State.
In the turn of a head, he’s suddenly a senior starting wide receiver for the Lancers.
“If I knew where I was going to be my senior year when I was a freshman, I’d have switched sooner,” said the Fairhaven High graduate.
Not that it was obvious Charette should have been lining up spread wide instead of under center. Other than a few red zone possessions in high school when the Blue Devils would bring in a backup quarterback to throw the 6-foot-5 Charette a fade, he’d never played wide receiver before.
He’d been a record-setting quarterback at Fairhaven, setting single-season (12) and career (21) touchdown pass records and racking up 1,475 yards through the air as a senior. He was named Standard-Times Athlete of the Year for the 2014-15 school year. He even got in for a few snaps as a freshman at Worcester State, completing 4-of-5 passes for 22 yards.
By early in his sophomore year, Charette had earned the starting nod for the Lancers, completing 41-of-73 passes for 375 yards and three interceptions.
“I hope by the end I deserved to have (the starting job) for three years and hopefully our winning record will say it all,” he said in an interview with the Standard-Times in 2016, following his second start at quarterback.
But in his third game, he suffered a concussion and was sidelined for a couple of weeks. In his own Wally Pipp moment, fellow sophomore Noah Brum stepped in and ran with it. The next season, Brum’s first as a full-time starter, he threw for 3,197 yards while completing 64.8 percent of his passes.
“He was doing really well and I wanted to get on the field,” Charette said.
So after the team’s first game, a 35-28 loss to Salve Regina, he talked to the coaching staff.
“I was like, ‘I still think I can play quarterback, but if I can get on the field tomorrow as a wide receiver, I’ll do that,” Charette recalled.
Soon, Charette was attending wide receiver meetings, and by the eighth game of the season, he caught a touchdown pass on his first career reception. In the Lancers’ final three games of the 2017 season, Charette snagged eight balls for 67 yards.
While he knew the routes, he found there were innumerable intricacies to the receiver position that he’s still learning to grasp many of them.
“I knew the routes and where I had to be, but it’s all the little things you never think about, how many steps or yardage,” he said. “A lot of little things I’d never thought of. I was a lot slower than I thought when I started and I wasn’t used to contact. I feel beaten up right now. I’m still adjusting.”
The nuances of blocking have been particularly difficult to pick up, mainly because, well, he’d never been asked to block before.
“That’s something I’ve never had to do my entire life,” he admitted. “I played defense, but I was never blocking for anyone. The past two weeks — Becker and Salve — both had cornerbacks who were undersized, so it wasn’t terrible. I’m kind of lucky."
So how is he with his hands?
“I still don’t know when to let go,” he chuckled. “I’ve gotten away with a couple (holds) so far.”
But what hasn’t been hard to figure out so far for Charette is how to produce. In two games, he’s caught 15 balls for 153 yards and three touchdowns. His eight-catch, 93-yard, two-touchdown performance in a 23-19 win over Becker in Week 2 earned him a spot on the MASCAC Football Weekly Honor Roll, and his 15-yard back-shoulder fade in the third quarter was nominated for Play of the Week. He added a 19-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.
“As the game progressed, we kind of broke down the defense a little more,” Charette said. “We came out slow in the first half. I sat down with the offensive coordinator (Adam Peloquin) and (Brum) and had conversations about what we were seeing and what calls we should be making differently. We made good adjustments.”
Charette credits much of his success to first-year wide receivers coach Brad Paulson.
“He’s more technical and it’s about a lot of the little things,” Charette said. “He breaks down our film to a ‘T.’ It’s unbelievable. I feel I’ve made a pretty good jump.”
Of course, Charette is starting off with a wee bit of an advantage, thanks to that 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame.
“Normally the first thing I look at when scouting a team is how tall the corners are and what year they are,” he said. “Freshmen will act differently than a senior.”
As for that fade route, which he made look as unstoppable as a Dirk Nowitzki step-back against Becker?
“We might throw three or four fades all year, but we convert on most of them,” Charette said.
Charette, also the team’s punter (he’s averaged 33 yards a punt with a long of 44), is the second in his family to star at Worcester State, following his oldest sister, Kaleigh, who is a member of the women’s basketball team’s 1,000-point club. His familiarity with the school is a major reason he enrolled.
“Worcester State has been great,” he said. “The school is doing great things. The wellness center is brand new, we’ll have new turf next year. It’s getting better and better.”
After finishing a combined 7-13 during Charette’s first two seasons, Worcester State went 6-4 last year and is now off to a 1-1 start in 2018. With less than a season to go, Charette has begun to reflect on his career as a Lancer.
“Taking a step back from it, this will probably be the last season I play that means something,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll play in some washed up beer league. All I want to do is win, and this team has opportunity to win the conference.”
Charette plans to graduate in the spring with a degree in business and a minor in economics. He spent last summer in the Bay Area of California, interning for a liquor distributor.
“It was an awesome real-world experience,” he said. “We were out in the field a lot doing a lot of business-to-business marketing and sales.”
The company even offered him a job when he graduates, but he thinks he’d like to stay closer to home, and plans to go into sales.
Then again, we know he’s not averse to changing course midstream.
Junior Sean Smialek (Dartmouth) had 11 tackles and one sack in Mass Maritime's opener. ... Sophomore Colin McCabe (Dartmouth) had two tackles and half a sack in Mass. Maritime's opener. ... Junior Austin Stahmer (Wareham) had one tackle in Mass. Maritime's opener. ... Freshman Nick Pittman (Dartmouth) has one tackle in one game for Bridgewater State. ... Junior Josh Onujiogu (Wareham) has six tackles and half a sack in two games for Framingham State. ... Freshman Issac Nascimento (Wareham) has two tackles in two games for Framingham State. ... Junior Vic Carrion Jr (New Bedford) has four tackles in two games for Springfield. ... Senior Kevin Falaki (Apponequet) has one catch for seven yards and one kick return for 14 yards in two games for Assumption. ... Freshman Kolby McCoy (New Bedford) has four tackles in two games for Dean. ... Senior Hunter Fluegel (New Bedford) has six catches for 57 yards in two games for Southern Connecticut.
Freshman Lauren Clapper (GNB Voc-Tech) has two goals in five games for Curry. ... Sophomore Bella Shields (Bishop Stang) has two goals and three assists in five games for Curry. ... Sophomore Sarah McGrath (Bishop Stang) has one goal in five games for CUrry. ... Senior Nicole Simas (Dartmouth) has one assist in three games for Bridgewater State. ... Sophomore Paige Meissner (Bishop Stang) has one goal in four games for Lasell. ... Senior Taylor Canastra (Fairhaven) has made 19 saves while allowing four goals in five games for Southern Maine. She has an 82.6 save percentage and three shutouts. ... Junior Abby Carchio (Apponequet) has two goals and one assist in six games for Brown. ... Junior Sarah Beaulieu (Old Rochester) has one assist in six games for UMass. ... Sophomore Becca Michaud (Bishop Stang) has one assist in six games for Bryant. ... Sophomore Payton Wildrick (GNB Voc-Tech) has 22 saves and four goals against in four games for Saint Anselm's. She has an 84.6 save percentage and two shutouts.
Junior Nate Morgado (Dartmouth) has allowed 10 goals while making 20 saves in five games for Bridgewater State. He has a 66.7 save percentage and one shutout. ... Senior Noah Martins (Dartmouth) has two goals and two assists in five games for Wentworth. ... Senior Klisman Sousa (New Bedford) has one assist in six games for Providence.
Freshman Victoria Camara (Bishop Stang) has one assist in two games for Bridgewater State. ... Junior Meg Pereira (Bishop Stang) has one goal and one assist in three games for Simmons. ... Junior Caitlin Baril (Apponequet) has one goal in two games for Framingham State. ... Sophomore Maddy Pimental (Dartmouth) has one goal in one game for Framingham State.
Sophomore Alexis Duarte (Fairhaven) has 17 kills, one assist, two service aces, six digs and two blocks in three matches for Bridgewater State. ... Sophomore Devan McNeill (Apponequet) has one dig in one match for Bridgewater State. ... Senior Katie Leidhold (Fairhaven) has 55 kills, 10 assists, four service aces, 53 digs and one block in six matches for Johnson & Wales. ... Senior Faith Richards (Fairhaven) has 24 kills, two assists, nine service aces, 40 digs and one block in eight matches for Lyndon State.
Junior Evan Russell (Wareham) lost his first match of the season (2-6, 4-6) at No. 6 singles for Regis. ... Sophomore Emma Collings (Old Rochester) won her first match at fifth singles (6-1, 6-0) for Worcester State. ... Sophomore Victoria Vittori (New Bedford/Lenox) is 2-1 at No. 2 singles for Rhode Island College.
Junior Kris Moore (Fairhaven) finished 26th in 19:51.79 for Bridgewater State at the Roger Williams Invitational. ... Sophomore Madison Lynch (Dartmouth) ran a 22:17 time for Emerson during the Endicott Invitational. ... Junior Ryan Cardozo (Bishop Stang) finished ninth (27:56.4) for Assumption during the Nassaney Memorial Invitational. ... Junior Paige Fehskens (Wareham) finished 13th (20:37) for Wareham at the Shacklette Invitational. ... Junior Nina Bourgeois (Old Rochester) finished eighth (20:29.9) for Trinity at the Trinity Invitational. ... Sophomore Olivia Wrobleski (Bishop Stang) placed 71st (23:15) for Mount Holyoke at the Jim Sheehan Memorial Meet. She was 64th (23:50) at the Smith College Invitational.
Follow Brendan Kurie on Twitter @BrendanKurieSCT. To add a student-athlete to our watch list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All statistics through Wednesday.