Northeast excellence

Here’s a look at fall-sea­son foot­ball and soc­cer ath­letes who will be honored at the 27th an­nu­al North­east Sports Awards Ban­quet.

It has been a thrill­ing fall sea­son on the foot­ball and soc­cer fields — one filled with cham­pi­on­ship glory, ex­cit­ing up­sets and fierce com­pet­i­tion. And through it all, the high school ath­letes of North­east Phil­adelphia have again proved them­selves among the best.  

The North­east Times is pleased to an­nounce the win­ners in foot­ball and soc­cer who will be re­cog­nized at the 27th an­nu­al North­east Sports Awards Ban­quet dur­ing the spring.

The event will hon­or neigh­bor­hood ath­letes and be­stow more than 30 awards in such cat­egor­ies as Most Cour­ageous Ath­lete, Un­sung Hero, Schol­ar Ath­lete, and Play­er and Coach of the Year, among many oth­ers. 

Here are our choices for the top ath­letes and coaches dur­ing the fall foot­ball and soc­cer sea­sons.

Foot­ball Coach of the Year

Will Dog­gett, Frank­ford High School

Will Dog­gett has been a fa­mil­i­ar face for Frank­ford foot­ball. For two years he coached the Pi­on­eers’ ju­ni­or-varsity squad; be­fore that, he spent sev­en sea­sons as the varsity team’s de­fens­ive co­ordin­at­or. 

This sea­son, Dog­gett be­came the varsity head coach. And it didn’t take long to make a name for him­self. 

Dog­gett guided the Pi­on­eers to an un­defeated re­cord in the Pub­lic League Gold Di­vi­sion this year, and his squad claimed the reg­u­lar-sea­son title. Frank­ford’s foot­ball team went 8-3 over­all, in­clud­ing a sev­en-game win streak and a Pub­lic League cham­pi­on­ship game against Wash­ing­ton High School, which won the title. 

Dog­gett has taught his team the im­port­ance of hard work and ded­ic­a­tion. He also has a great know­ledge of the game. 

His achieve­ments have made him this year’s Foot­ball Coach of the Year.  

Pub­lic League Foot­ball Play­er of the Year

Ha­keem Sill­man, George Wash­ing­ton High School

After los­ing a core of seni­ors to gradu­ation last year, the youth­ful George Wash­ing­ton High School foot­ball team needed a lead­er. 

Ha­keem Sill­man was a per­fect fit. 

The seni­or run­ning back was re­mark­able on the grid­iron this sea­son, rush­ing for 1,713 yards and scor­ing 27 touch­downs. That’s 162 points. That’s more than the points scored by the rest of his team com­bined.

An All-Pub­lic play­er, Sill­man dom­in­ated the com­pet­i­tion this fall. On de­fense, he led his team in in­ter­cep­tions.

Sill­man rushed for 100-plus yards in nine games, in­clud­ing four when he sur­passed 200 yards. With Sill­man lead­ing the way, the Eagles went 8-4 over­all and won the Pub­lic League cham­pi­on­ship crown. 

Sill­man proved him­self as a valu­able lead­er for his squad. His ac­com­plish­ments on the field have made him a worthy choice for this year’s Pub­lic League Foot­ball Play­er of the Year. 

Cath­ol­ic League Foot­ball Play­er of the Year

Matt Smal­ley, Fath­er Judge High School

Al­though Matt Smal­ley usu­ally can be found sprint­ing up and down the Fath­er Judge High School foot­ball field, the seni­or run­ning back spent a good amount of time in the end zone. 

Smal­ley scored a whop­ping 21 touch­downs this sea­son, in­clud­ing 17 on the ground. He rushed for 984 yards and had 119 re­ceiv­ing yards, help­ing the Cru­saders fin­ish the sea­son 7-4 over­all. 

An All-Cath­ol­ic se­lec­tion, Smal­ley ran for more than 100 yards in four games this sea­son. His per­son­al best with 201 rush­ing yards and three touch­downs against Penn Charter on Sept. 24. 

Dur­ing his team’s 48-7 de­feat of Lin­coln High School on Thanks­giv­ing Day, Smal­ley was awar­ded Most Valu­able Play­er after car­ry­ing the ball 11 times for 156 yards and scor­ing four touch­downs.

Smal­ley has shown the tal­ent and know­ledge to reg­u­larly ex­cel on the foot­ball field. He’s an hon­or stu­dent in the classroom and also com­petes for the Cru­saders’ track pro­gram.

Boys Soc­cer Coach of the Year

Chris Re­id, George Wash­ing­ton High School

He made it look easy. 

It was any­thing but. 

George Wash­ing­ton High School soc­cer coach Chris Re­id had to over­come a vari­ety of obstacles on the field this sea­son, but even in the face of ad­versity, he helped the Eagles soar.

George Wash­ing­ton was al­most per­fect this fall, with a 13-1-1 over­all re­cord. The Eagles downed long­time rival North­east High, 2-1, in the Pub­lic League’s Class AAA fi­nals to earn their first title since 2009. 

Wash­ing­ton went un­defeated dur­ing the en­tire Pub­lic League sea­son and play­off run. Their only loss came in the City Title game against La Salle High School. 

Of course, it wasn’t easy. The youth­ful Wash­ing­ton squad un­der­went massive re­struc­tur­ing of its roster, hav­ing lost the ser­vices of five play­ers — in­clud­ing their start­ing goal­keep­er — be­cause of dis­cip­lin­ary meas­ures after an al­ter­ca­tion dur­ing school. Re­id was forced to pro­mote sev­en ju­ni­or-varsity play­ers and find a new goalie as the Eagles began their post­season run. 

Yet, through the good times and the bad, Re­id was the rock that his team needed to suc­ceed. He em­phas­ized hard work and ded­ic­a­tion, in the pro­cess be­com­ing a true ment­or for his squad of cham­pi­ons. 

Pub­lic League Boys Soc­cer Play­er of the Year

Wilo Mim­bar, George Wash­ing­ton High School

It has been a story­book sea­son for Wilo Mim­bar. 

The George Wash­ing­ton High School seni­or striker be­came a star on the pitch this sea­son. An All-Pub­lic ath­lete, Mim­bar guided the Eagles to a 13-1-1 over­all re­cord en route to the Pub­lic League cham­pi­on­ship title. 

He net­ted 27 goals — lead­ing his squad in scor­ing for the second con­sec­ut­ive year, and com­ing just one goal short of ty­ing the school re­cord. 

In ad­di­tion to re­cord­ing three hat-tricks, Mim­bar scored a sea­son-high four goals against Frank­lin Towne Charter on Sept. 26. He also scored both goals in Wash­ing­ton’s 2-1 vic­tory over North­east in the cham­pi­on­ship fi­nals. 

A team cap­tain, Mim­bar led his youth­ful Eagle squad by ex­ample. Al­though he of­ten was placed in the spot­light, Mim­bar re­mained mod­est about his per­form­ance on the field. He demon­strated the im­port­ance of team­work and fo­cused on the bet­ter­ment of his squad rather than per­son­al ac­col­ades. 

His nat­ur­al soc­cer skill and his at­ti­tude to­ward his team­mates made Wilo Mim­bar an easy se­lec­tion as this year’s Pub­lic League Boys Soc­cer Play­er of the Year. 

Cath­ol­ic League Boys Soc­cer Play­er of the Year

Kev­in Pohl, Fath­er Judge High School

Over the past three years, Kev­in Pohl has be­come a corner­stone of the Fath­er Judge High School soc­cer pro­gram. 

Now a seni­or mid­field­er, Pohl has guided the Cru­saders to three con­sec­ut­ive play­off runs, res­ult­ing in two Cath­ol­ic League cham­pi­on­ship ap­pear­ances, one league title and one state cham­pi­on­ship. 

This sea­son, he helped the Cru­saders go 14-5-1 over­all, in­clud­ing six shutouts. Fath­er Judge outscored op­pon­ents by 18 goals en route to a Cath­ol­ic League cham­pi­on­ship ap­pear­ance. 

Pohl was a team co-cap­tain this sea­son, as well as a work­horse on the field for the Cru­saders. He ex­celled with as­sists, al­ways find­ing a way to provide his team­mates with op­por­tun­it­ies to score. 

Also a standout in the classroom, Pohl is an hon­or stu­dent ranked 24th in his class. His sched­ule in­cludes ad­vanced-place­ment cal­cu­lus and phys­ics. 

Kev­in Pohl is the es­sence of a stu­dent-ath­lete and is this year’s Cath­ol­ic League Boys Soc­cer Play­er of the Year. 

Girls Soc­cer Coach of the Year

Will be de­term­ined after the spring sea­son to in­clude Pub­lic League coaches. 

Pub­lic League Girls Soc­cer Play­er of the Year

Will be de­term­ined after the spring sea­son. 

Cath­ol­ic League Girls Soc­cer Play­er of the Year

Ur­sula Coyle, Little Flower High School

Little Flower High School ju­ni­or mid­field­er Ur­sula Coyle has speed, ac­cur­acy and de­term­in­a­tion on the soc­cer field. She can sprint, score, pass and block. 

Yes, Ur­sula Coyle can do it all. 

The speedy ath­lete helped the Sen­tinels go 10-3-1 over­all and earn an ap­pear­ance in the Cath­ol­ic League fi­nals. Little Flower re­cor­ded five shutouts and outscored op­pon­ents by 24 goals this year. 

Coyle tal­lied 12 goals dur­ing the fall. She re­cor­ded a hat-trick against Hal­la­han in Septem­ber and scored the game-win­ning goal against Con­well Egan in the league quarterfi­nals. 

A ver­sat­ile ath­lete, Coyle has con­sist­ently helped her soc­cer squad to post­season play dur­ing her three years with the pro­gram. 

Coyle has ded­ic­ated her­self to the game. Her work eth­ic is un­par­alleled. They are among the vir­tues that have made her one of top soc­cer play­ers in the city.  ull;•

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