By Alex Frazier
William Tennent’s Bob Note is an inventor.
On and off the soccer field.
A senior forward, Note has scored seven goals this year, and to show that he’s not just one dimensional, he’s also chipped in four assists.
“He hits the ball a ton,” said Tennent coach Dave Jones. “He always has his head up. That’s why he has some of those assists. He’ll beat some guys and pull the center guys out, then he’ll slip it across the middle and guys will run on. The ones he sets up, the goals are pretty simple finishes. He reads the game really well.”
His career total of 12 goals is a bit misleading. He missed half of his sophomore year and about a month of his junior year with a separated shoulder.
“He used to be the kind of guy that once he got the ball you never saw it ever again because he has the ability to put it in the back of the net,” said Jones. “Now he’s doing both. He’s looking up and doing a real nice job of setting other guys up.”
This year he came to camp in good shape after playing in a number of showcases last summer.
“He came along pretty good for us last year,” said Jones. “This year he came to camp in shape and is working hard.”
Note started playing intramural soccer at three and started his travel playing for Southampton.
Since then he has played on three different club teams. In middle school he played for VE, and then moved to the Ukrainian Nationals, where he played a year up.
Now he’s back with his own age group playing for the United German Hungarian Club.
With the exception of his sophomore year at Tennent when he played outside midfield, Note has been a forward.
“I like to get my chances at goal,” he said. “I prefer to play forward.”
But he is a versatile player.
Against Easton (1-0 win) last Saturday, Jones moved him back to outside midfield where he changed the pace of the whole game.
“We started attacking more and he was crossing balls,” said Jones. “He’s versatile. He can come back and play defense or go forward.”
One of Note’s trademarks is his speed.
“He disrupts what the defense does, puts some pressure on them,” said Jones. “He likes to attack the outside backs and does a pretty good job of getting around them and going to goal.”
While Note is an inventive player on the field, he is also inventive off of it.
He has invented a soccer sock that makes it easier to hold shin guards in place and hopes to get a patent and market it to a company for manufacture.
“It’s an easy way to make a lot of money,” said Note.
Note is hoping to play soccer in college, but he may have to wait a year.
“I still have to get my grades up a little bit,” he said. “I might take a year off and go to Bucks (County Community College).”
A couple of colleges have shown interest in him, namely, Northeastern, LaSalle and St. Francis.
Following soccer season, Note is planning on running track, which he has never done before.
“I want to see how fast I am compared to everyone,” he said.
Knights on the march – Last year, North Penn coach Paul Duddy knew he would be losing 12 seniors, seven of whom were starters.
Like any good coach would do, he made an effort to play his underclassmen as much as he could.
“Even though they didn’t start, they got a pretty good amount of minutes and picked up experience,” said Duddy.
And it’s paid off this year.
The Knights are right in the thick of a four-team race for the Continental Conference title.
“We’ve mixed it up pretty well,” said Duddy. “We’re getting very good goalkeeping, but we need to get better defensively. I’m happy with the way we’ve started, believe me.”
Duddy’s three captains have been key to the team’s success. Sean Bonner is probably the best player on the team, and may even be in the running for league MVP. The center midfielder is a three-year varsity player.
“He’s a pretty complete player for us,” said Duddy. “He’s a great attacking player. He’s a playmaker but he also takes all our restarts. He can really hit a ball well. He’s probably our most accurate shooter. Besides that, he gets back and plays good defense.”
Brendan Gorman also plays in the midfield on Bonner’s left. Another senior captain, he has been instrumental in the Knights’ early success.
“He’s very quick, good with the ball and gets up and down the field very well,” said Duddy.
The Knights’ third captain is John Schoell, who anchors the central defense.
“He’s been very steady, wins balls in the air, plays very smart and has a good read of the game,” said the coach.
Duddy has the good fortune to have two good keepers, and both are juniors. Sean Murphy starts games and Evan Thompson plays the second half.
It’s not what Duddy would prefer. In fact it’s the first time coaching boys that he’s platooned keepers.
“They’re both very athletic,” he said. “Both are playing well. I started off early giving each one of them a half and thought eventually I’d make a decision one way or the other, or maybe do it game by game.”
The team’s success has made it difficult to switch things up halfway through the season.
“The goals we’ve given up this year are because the other team has broken us down or defensive lapses,” said Duddy. “To this point, it’s not been our goalkeepers. They’ve both played very well.”
Two other juniors are making their contributions as well.
At 6-2, striker Chris Davidson gives opposing defenses fits.
“He’s just a very fast, hard worker,” said Duddy. “He’s a handful for other teams to defend. He makes runs and is physically tough to match up with.”
Mike Robinson plays alongside Bonner in the midfield.
“He’s good on the ball and a good playmaker,” said Duddy.
Robinson has a couple of game winning goals to his credit, one on a rebound against Pennridge last Friday.
“He’s a heads-up player and follows up on plays,” said Duddy.
The Continental Conference could well go down to the last day of the season, and the Knights hope to be there at the end.
“There’s still a lot to be determined,” said Duddy.
Around the league – While Wissahickon is running away in the American Conference, the other two conferences are both dogfights.
•Not so long ago Council Rock South seemed poised to challenge for the National Conference title, but the Golden Hawks aren’t flying as high as they were, having lost to Pennsbury, Council Rock North, William Tennent and most recently Neshaminy (on Rick Domico’s goal in the 79th minute).
While the Hawks seem to be in a swan dive, the Panthers are pouncing on opponents. They are now third in the National Conference and, with games against Pennsbury and Council Rock North forthcoming, they could play the spoiler.
Council Rock North lost the second head-to-head against Pennsbury on Eddie Adams’ overtime goal, leaving the two teams tied for the lead.
Abington has become more dangerous with the return of Jidell Roach and goalie Sam Matthews. The Ghosts tied Neshaminy and William Tennent.
• And who can predict what’s going to happen in the Continental, which changes on a daily basis.
Central Bucks East is back on top, but for how long?
CB East seems to have North Penn’s number as the Patriots handed the Knights their only two losses of the season. Bryan Stretton scored the game winner in a 3-1 win the second time the two teams met.
“They play very well against us,” said North Penn coach Paul Duddy. “I still think they may be the team to beat.”
Both Souderton and North Penn are nipping at the Patriots’ heels.
All the 1-0 games the Big Red lost last year have been reversed this year as 1-0 wins over Hatboro-Horsham and C.B. West attest.
Pennridge, which was the preseason favorite, has been slipping lately with losses to North Penn (2-1) and Central Bucks South (2-1). CB West, CB South and Hatboro-Horsham are also capable of inflicting damage on any of the top four as they have already demonstrated.
South’s Keith Crews scored a pair of goals in the Titans’ 5-2 win over Quakertown.
• Wissahickon is rolling along in the American. The Trojans have outscored their opponents 16-1 in their last four games.
Defending champion Upper Dublin has had a rocky year. The Flying Cardinals have played well at times (3-2 win over Cheltenham-Zach Pfeffer scored the game winner) and been just mediocre at others (ties with Upper Merion, Plymouth Whitemarsh and Springfield).
In other action, Brandon Johnson scored the game winner in Plymouth Whitemarsh’s 2-1 win over Upper Merion.
Speaking of Upper Merion, the Viking’s Tom Schiliro made 25 saves in a scoreless tie against Upper Dublin. Could that be a league record?
SOL Top Five
2. Council Rock North
3. William Tennent
4. Central Bucks East
Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association (through Oct. 4)
1. Council Rock North. . . 10-0-0
2. Pennsbury. . . 9-1-1
3. Strath Haven. . . 8-1-2
4. La Salle. . . 8-1-1
5. North Catholic. . . 7-2-1
6. Lower Merion. . . 10-2-0
7. Father Judge. . . 9-1-1
8. Conestoga . . . 9-2-1
9. Unioniville. . . 10-1-0
10. North Penn. . . 7-1-1
11. Downingtown East. . . 9-1-1
12. Upper Darby. . . 7-2-1
13. Christopher Dock. . . 8-2-1
14. Central Bucks East. . . 6-3-0
15. Pennridge. . . 6-4-1
16. Germantown Academy. . . 5-5-0
17. Archbishop Ryan. . . 7-2-1
18. Archbishop Wood. . . 9-1-0
19. Octorara. . . 9-2-0
20. Haverford School. . . 4-1-1
Others receiving votes (in order): Dowingtown West, Council Rock South, Souderton, St. Joseph's Prep, Great Valley, Bartram, Abington, West Chester Rustin, Lansdale Catholic, Shipley.
PSCA / ANGELO'S SOCCER CORNER POLL
(Week of Oct. 4)
1. Council Rock North (1) previous rank 1
2. Mt. Lebanon (7) 2
3. Parkland (11) 3
4. Pennsbury (1) 4
5. Manheim Township (3) 6
6. Unionville (1) 8
7. Upper St. Clair (7) 9
8. Fox Chapel (7) HM
9. Cumberland Valley (3) HM
10. Strath Haven (1) 10
Honorable Mention: Central Dauphin (3), Conestoga (1), Conestoga Valley (3), Delaware Valley (2), Father Judge (12), Hershey (3), Lower Merion (1), Peters Township (7).
NSCAA National Region III Rankings
1. St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.) 7 - 0 - 0
2. Council Rock North (Newtown, Pa.) 10 - 0 - 0
3. The Pingry School (Martinsville, N.J.) 8 - 0 - 0
4. Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 12 - 0 - 1
5. Parkland (Allentown, Pa.) 13 - 0 - 0
6. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 5 - 0 - 0
7. Pennsbury (Fairless Hills, Pa.) 9 - 1 - 0
8. Rancocas Valley (Mt. Holly, N.J.) 7 - 1 - 0
9. Manheim Township (Lancaster, Pa.) 8 - 1 - 0
10. Scotch Plains (N.J.) 7 - 1 - 1
11. Upper St. Clair (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 9 - 1 - 1
12. Unionville (Kennett Square, Pa.) 10 - 1 - 0
13. Clifton (N.J.) 9 - 0 - 1
14. Fox Chapel (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 11 - 0 - 1
15. Delbarton School (Morristown, N.J.) 5 - 1 - 1