Favorite athlete: Brian Dawkins
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite memory competing in sports: Having a goal and two assists in the Eastern Region League final to help my club team reach regionals.
Most embarrassing/funniest thing thathappened while competing in sports: Sliding on my knees after a goal on dry grass and falling on my face.
Music on mobile device: All types of rap both new and old and a lot of classic rock. Mostly anything but country.
Future plans: Play in college at a competitive level and earn a degree.
Favorite motto: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” - Mahatma Gandhi
One goal before turning 30: I just want to be the happiest I can be, and hopefully have my life figured out by then.
One thing people don't know about me: I love to write and direct short films.
Sean Touey hopes people see more than just a soccer player when they look at him.
It's easy to see why soccer player would be the first thing most people think of, given his prolific scoring resume for the Abington boys' soccer team the past three seasons. But as singularly honed his ability to put a ball in the back of the net has become, Touey is as versatile off the pitch.
While soccer is his most visible endeavor, Touey's interests include writing and producing video media and film, taking classes that don't fit the athlete profile, being a leader and role model with a quirky fashion sense that helps him stand out in a crowd.
"My whole life, I've been known as the soccer player because of my play on the field but all my life, I've wanted to be different," Touey said. "I don't want to be a normal person going through high school. Whether it's the way I dress or the way I act, I want to stand out. I'm not trying to grab attention, but I want to be my own person."
After a limited role as a freshman, Touey earned a starting spot as a sophomore and knew right away he was going to be counted on to score goals. He credited teammate Juan Castillo, a senior on that season's team, for setting a standard of hard work and dedication that Touey has tried to match ever since.
He netted 25 goals as a sophomore, then put away 26 chances as a junior. He's well on the way to another 20-plus goal season this fall as Abington has thrived in its first season as part of the SOL American conference.
"I knew I would be counted on to produce, but I never expected the type of numbers or performances I've had," Touey said. "I just kept my head down and kept working."
If someone were to sit down and sculpt the ideal target forward in soccer, the outcome would look a lot like Touey.
"Sean is a typical forward but sometimes you don't really see what he actually does," Abington coach Randy Garber said. "He plays with his back to the goal and through high school, you don't often find that kid who will play with their back to the goal, be content doing it and know how to do it."
With parents who were both athletes, the competitive gene was inherited by Sean, his older brother Jimmy and younger sister Casey. Jimmy, now a sophomore at Temple, played as a reserve goalkeeper for the Ghosts while Casey, a sophomore, is a dynamic goal-scorer for the SOL American champion girls' soccer team.
Touey's father James was a football player at Northeast High School while mother Diane was a standout soccer player at Cardinal Dougherty.
"Ironically, my mom played as a defender while myself and my sister are forwards," Touey said. "My parents didn't have the same kind of opportunities we do so I've tried to be mindful of that as I've progressed."
The Ghosts are a pretty potent offensive team, with Nevin Baer, Liam Friel, Gavin O'Neil and Bryce Lexow among the plenty of players capable of scoring. But everything seems to run through Touey, who many nights takes a beating as defenders try to push him out of position or off the ball.
"He's big, he's strong and he's athletic but most players get tired of standing up there because they won't get the service, well, Sean is a handful," Garber said. "Because he is strong, he's capable of turning and doing a lot of different things. That's what makes him so dangerous."
It's often repeated that the best goal scorers in soccer at all levels are the ones with the shortest memory. In a game that's often unrewarding and sometimes outright cruel, it's easy for a lot of players to lose spirit after shanking an open chance, striking some type of woodwork or having a keeper deny what looked like a sure goal.
In Touey's case, it's all quickly thrown away as he starts to chase the next window of opportunity. He's the type who believes the next one is the one that's going in, even if he's missed eight, nine or 10 in a row.
"A lot of kids that miss one or two opportunities, they won't get in that position again because they're afraid to miss, Sean is the type to stay in there and keep taking those shots and it's a big part of the reason he'll miss two or three shots and still end up with two goals," Garber said. "That attitude is what separates him."
Garber, who played at Abington before going on to play at Penn State University, has been around the game long enough to know when a player is on a different level. Still, he's seen a lot of growth in Touey the past two years and noted the senior has gotten more clinical with his finishing, is playing smarter and laying the ball off to midfielders or other forwards and creating chances that way.
"It started when I was young, when I played forward for my club team at Fox Chase (Soccer Club), I got a lot of chances in a game and if I missed one, I'd be right back wanting the next one," Touey said. "My team counted on me to perform, so I took that pressure and tried to elevate my game every time I stepped on the field."
Touey played at Fox Chase until the fall of his eighth grade year and then joined a host of other local players at Future Player Academy, with many of them now his teammates as Ghosts. The senior credited that club squad for building the tight bond of this year's Abington side, which has 13 seniors. After FPA, Touey moved on to Lower Merion Soccer Club, where he's continued to play through high school.
On top of his offensive production, Touey also leads the Ghosts as one of their captains this fall. It's a role he understands and values, and the senior said he looks at it as a chance to intervene or advocate for his teammates on the field.
Casey Touey isn't surprised at how well her brother has handled the role.
"Overall, he's a general leader in everything he does," Casey Touey said. "He gets what he wants and he's just a good person. If I'm upset or someone around him is upset, he turns on his caring side and he makes sure that person is okay."
Touey says his breakthrough game came in his sophomore year at home against Pennsbury. He'd scored a fair amount of goals to that point, but he put away three goals against the then-unbeaten Falcons as the Ghosts won 4-3.
"We controlled that game and it gave me confidence going forward knowing it was an undefeated team I'd just had a hat trick against," Touey said. "I saw I could do anything I set my mind to on the field."
There's no sibling rivalry between Sean and Casey, who both wear No. 22. Ask Sean about his sister and he won't take any credit for her success, saying it's all due to the work Casey has put into her craft. While they both score a lot, they don't try to outdo each other and instead use each other's success as inspiration and motivation.
This fall offered the siblings a unique opportunity. With the Ghosts jumping to the SOL American, Abington played a pair of doubleheaders with Upper Dublin instead of the usual boys' or girls' team at home and the other on the road.
With two chances to play on the same field, the Toueys showed out. In the first doubleheader, Casey scored two goals and assisted another in a 4-3 Ghosts win while Sean bagged a hat trick in a 6-0 win, then a few weeks later, Sean scored and helped set up a goal in a 4-0 win while Casey had a goal and assist in a 5-2 victory.
They're different players, Sean the big physical target player while Casey is the shorter, speedier striker but younger sister has tried to emulate the way her older brother goes up in the air and somehow comes out winning the ball.
"He was the person I most looked up to when it came to soccer," Casey said. "When he scored, I was happy for him but I also started thinking 'I want to be just like him.' He's my inspiration to go out there and be the best player I can."
Sean hasn't decided on a college yet, weighing opportunities from several Division I and II schools in the Philadelphia and suburban area. but Garber feels the senior will thrive wherever he ends up.
"I think he'll only get better because the service he'll get will be at a much higher level and if he gets that service in the box, he'll finish goals," Garber said. "That's what a lot of college coaches are missing, the fact his biggest attribute is scoring goals in the box. He's a good teammate, a good student and a good leader."
Touey has enjoyed the chance to play for Garber.
"He's been all over the game at every level, and being a guy coming through Abington, it's inspiring," Touey said. "He's seen all of it, so I've been trying to take in anything I could from him. This area has such a great culture in soccer and having one of the icons of the area here is something I can't overlook."
Off the soccer pitch, Sean's interests reach into a lot of different areas. He runs the Abington Sports Network for the high school, making videos and highlight packages as part of the in-house media production.
His interest in film extends well beyond sports highlights, as Touey writes and directs short films with some classmates and friends and will be submitting a few entries into this year's Greenfield Youth Film Festival, which highlights work from young filmmakers in the Philadelphia area.
Touey has been in a film and media class since his freshman year, which helped spark his interest in the field. He said his scripts are mostly comedy-based and the senior likes the opportunity it provides him to be creative and expressive.
"They're about six-minute short films and I've written about six or seven scripts so far," Touey said. "I've always had an interest in media, I actually dropped a computer class I wasn't interested in freshman year and as soon as I joined that class, I knew it was something really cool and something I'd be interested in."
Touey's creativity also extends to his wardrobe and appearance. The senior confessed to owning a couple "colorful pairs of jeans," some eye-catching shoes and more than a few different bold looks.
Just this year, Touey traded in his old, well-worn black book bag for one a little more colorful.
"I saw my sister's tye-dye book bag from third grade and thought I'm kind of sick of carrying around this old bag and grabbed that," Touey said. "It's turned some heads but I don't let anybody tell me anything different, I'm going to be myself."
Seeing her old backpack get a second life has prompted a couple dubious reactions from Casey.
"I just see him and shake my head," Casey said. "He's doing his own thing, so I might as well let him be."
This year, Touey is taking an interdisciplinary studies class that he said is meant to replicate a liberal arts college course with a lot of project and thinking-based learning. Touey said he's one of just two athletes in the class and he's friends with plenty of students who don't play sports at Abington.
"I want to do what I want to do. My girlfriend is involved with theater and has been in the play every year. In middle school, I played the bass and had a great bond with the orchestra so I'm still friends with a lot of band kids, and a lot of the art students, I get along with as well," Touey said. "I'd never look down on anybody because of what they want to do because I'd never want to be looked down on or have someone say 'he's just a jock.'"
While Sean and Casey are more outgoing, his older brother Jimmy is more introverted and quiet. Playing with his brother was special for Sean, who has a few friends at Abington with that same type of quiet temperament.
"He embraced his role as a soft-spoken player off the bench and when he got a chance to go in, everybody loved it," Touey said. "It's allowed me to see people differently, my brother is much different than I am but at the same time, we're so similar. I know my brother was one of those kids in high school, so I try to say hi to them if I happen to see them in the morning or between classes."
The Ghosts have tasted some success in the postseason during Touey's tenure but they haven't been able to reach the state playoffs. With a senior-heavy team, and a senior class that is very close, Abington thinks this year's group might be able to make that kind of run.
Ask Touey and it won't be about how far he can take his team, but how far his team can take him.
"My type of game is one that relies on my teammates," Touey said. "I'm not going to dribble through eight guys but I'm always going to be working. There's always going to be a ball to be won in the box, a 50/50 or a head ball and that doesn't go down to who can beat 100 guys on the field, but to who works harder. I think I have that ability to do it and do it when needed."