EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 22, 2013

Around the Horn with ... Mike Skarbelis, North Andover soccer star

Michael Muldoon
mmuldoon@eagletribune.com

---- — North Andover’s 5-10 1/2, 155-pound forward Mike Skarbelis is one of the state’s most potent goal scorers. After scoring nine goals as a sophomore and 20 last fall, he has 13 with three assists this year for the Knights, who were 6-0 entering yesterday’s game against Westford.

“Obviously, he’s very talented,” said first-year Knights head coach Kyle Wood. “Also he’s a hard worker. He puts a lot of pressure on himself to play well. He has all the attributes to be a true champion.”

In this week’s Around the Horn, Skarbelis speaks about his scoring touch, his most memorable goal and why he believes he has the talent to play Division 1 college soccer.

Did you ever expect to have a start like this? “Yes. I was hoping for it. My main goal besides winning a state championship was to break the school record. It’s 57 goals by Jon Wentworth (NA ‘04).”

What makes a goal-scorer? “Calm and composed. Not losing your head. Not every shot will go in. Last game I hit the crossbar three times. Just knowing it will come.”

Do you have a pet move? “Not really. It all depends on the moment. I like to cut back and shoot.”

What’s your favorite all-time goal? “Definitely Concord-Carlisle last year in the Division 2 North final. The go-ahead goal.”

What’s the most goals you’ve ever scored in a game? “I had eight in a game in second grade.”

How is it going with a new coach after playing for the legendary coach Bill Tarbox? “Very well. Very well. He’s doing a very good job. I knew him going into the season. He’s doing a very fantastic job. Coach Tarbox was one of my favorite coaches of all-time. He just wanted us to have fun and enjoy our high school careers.”

Do you play any other sports? “I’ve played just soccer since I was 4.”

What’s been the lowest point of your career? “I moved here from 7th grade from Maryland. My dad was in the hospital. It was hard. It affected how I played.”

Are you looking at any schools? “I’ve been talking to UMass Lowell. That’s probably my favorite school. Especially since Coach Christian Figueroa is from North Andover. Also Merrimack and UMass Amherst.”

Do you consider yourself a Division 1 player? “I believe so. I think I can. If I put my mind to it, I think I can do whatever I want.”

Do you work? “I’m a cashier at Walmart in North Reading.”

What’s something people don’t know about you? “I’ve met (Olympic swimming icon) Michael Phelps before. It was at a restaurant in Baltimore.”

Are you from an athletic family? “My brother, Christopher Skarbelis, played at Caldwell College in New Jersey (where he started all four years). He finished high school in Maryland. My mother, Melissa (Voisine) Skarbelis, is from North Andover and played soccer and rowed at Brooks.”

What’s your dream job? “Become a police officer. I want to help other people.”

Who’s your dream date? “Alex Morgan.”

Do you have a nickname? “Mikey.”

Do you have any pets? “Two cats, Rex and Tappy.”

What is the most embarrassing song you have in your iPod? “Miley Cyrus’ The Climb.”

If you were named principal, what’s the first thing you’d do? “Give back senior privileges.”

Follow Michael Muldoon on Twitter at @MullyET.

mikey’s FAVORITES

Group or singer: Ariana Grande

Song: No Worries by Lil Wayne

Book: The Best Game Ever

Actor-actress: Will Smith

Movie: Moneyball

TV show: Storage Wars

Athlete: Pele

Food: Buffalo chicken calzone

Car: Dodge truck

Restaurant: Pizano’s in Lawrence

Teacher: Business teacher Mr. (Peter) Concannon

Boys Soccer Scoring leaders

Year Player School Goals

2012 Salah Baladi Methuen 28

2011 Dany Belanger Whittier 27

2010 Josh Croteau Pentucket 24

Matt Jasinski Gr. Lawrence 24

2009 Jacob Bradwell Whittier 26

2008 Brian Lundquist Fellowship 27

2007 Brian Lundquist Fellowship 35

2006 Chris Sheehy Whittier 25

2005 Corey Laycock Timberlane 23

2004 Jon Wentworth No. Andover 36

2003 Charlie Davies Brooks 37

2002 Charlie Davies Brooks 36

2001 Joe Mangum Fellowship 32

2000 David Trepanier Fellowship 39

1999 Paul Bellacqua Andover 28

1998 Nick Groff Pelham 25

1997 Peter Peralta Timberlane 20

1996 Peter Peralta Timberlane 20

1995 David Cafua North Andover 22

1994 Eric Trickett Pinkerton 18

1993 Chris Tierney North Andover 21