Northeast Times

Lynn brings winning attitude to Northeast High

Seni­or Howard Lynn from North­east High School bats at a game with Frank­lin Learn­ing Cen­ter, Fri­day, April 27, 2012, Phil­adelphia, Pa. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

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For North­east High School seni­or Howard Lynn, sports have al­ways seemed to come as second nature.

From the time he was a young lad of 6, play­ing Little League base­ball for Fox Rok, Lynn knew early on that sports were a pro­duct­ive way to be­come a team play­er on the field while also con­nect­ing with ad­or­ing fans and alumni of a school chock-full of ath­let­ic tra­di­tion.

Now ap­proach­ing his fi­nal weeks at North­east High, Lynn, a multi-sport ath­lete, has much to be proud of. Much to re­flect upon, too.

He has won pres­ti­gi­ous All-City and All-Pub­lic League hon­ors from both the Daily News and the league’s coaches for his role as kick­er on North­east’s foot­ball team. Lynn also earned All-Second Team city hon­ors as the goalie on the Vik­ings’ soc­cer team, ac­com­plish­ing what few high school stu­dent-ath­letes can even fathom: be­ing a two-sport standout with­in the same ath­let­ic sea­son.

After a winter away from the field, Lynn is back as the cap­tain and first base­man/pitch­er for North­east’s base­ball team, which has sprin­ted to a dy­nam­ite 7-1 Pub­lic League start fol­low­ing last year’s dis­mal 2-12 sea­son. Much of the squad’s un­ex­pec­ted suc­cess has come be­cause of the tal­ent and lead­er­ship of the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Lynn, a well-roun­ded play­er who con­tin­ues to reach high­er and high­er for his goals, nev­er get­ting com­pla­cent with his ath­let­ic ac­com­plish­ments.

“I’ve made many achieve­ments and hope to have left an im­print on my time here at North­east High,” Lynn said. “But at the same time I al­ways re­main humble and gra­cious to­ward my sup­port­ers and make sure I al­ways give my best when I’m out on the field, nev­er rest­ing on my laurels.”

Of course, an ath­lete like Lynn can only be as good as the train­ing he has re­ceived from his eld­ers, and head base­ball coach Sam Feld­man is due much re­cog­ni­tion for help­ing to de­vel­op his star play­er. When asked what Lynn has meant to the base­ball pro­gram at North­east, Feld­man em­phat­ic­ally re­spon­ded, “Everything.”

Hav­ing coached base­ball at North­east since 1999, and on the varsity level since 2001, Feld­man has had his share of play­ers to de­vel­op on the dia­mond.

“Lynn brings with him a sense of ex­cite­ment and hope nev­er be­fore seen in this com­munity,” Feld­man said. “He is the con­sum­mate team lead­er and has a ra­di­ant, take-charge per­son­al­ity. He is a pro­tect­or and spokes­man for our team; he is def­in­itely a per­son that wants to be heard and has a lot to say. As an ath­lete, he al­ways backs it up on the field.”

It may seem like a lot of re­spons­ib­il­ity for a teen­ager to take on, but Lynn simply takes it all in stride as a reg­u­lar, every­day routine. Feld­man also beams with pride when dis­cuss­ing Lynn’s vo­cal per­son­al­ity with­in the North­east com­munity. Hav­ing been fea­tured as one of the main sub­jects of the short-lived A&E real­ity-tele­vi­sion show “Teach” star­ring Tony Danza, Lynn has shown the abil­ity to spread that po­et­ic charm every­where he goes, even off the field when cam­er­as are not rolling.

His pres­ence on the field cer­tainly has helped the Vik­ings’ base­ball team form post­season as­pir­a­tions des­pite head­ing in­to the 2012 sea­son ex­pect­ing a “re­build­ing” cam­paign, as Feld­man fore­cast in late March. With play­ers fall­ing to in­jury and oth­ers not in­vited back to the pro­gram for vari­ous reas­ons, the Vik­ings have stormed to a 7-1 start in Pub­lic League B Di­vi­sion play and were just a half-game be­hind fron­trun­ner Prep Charter when the Times went to press this week.

The move to Di­vi­sion B clearly helped North­east from a com­pet­it­ive stand­point, but without play­ers like Lynn, as well as young­er play­ers like ju­ni­ors Daquan Bo­han­non, Shahir Gates, Steve Mar­tinez and Manny Dur­an, whom Lynn has helped ment­or, the Vik­ings would be fa­cing an­oth­er lost sea­son rather than be star­ing down the pos­sib­il­ity of be­com­ing a Pub­lic League cham­pi­on.

“Com­ing from a los­ing sea­son last year, it really put us in a bind and made us more de­term­ined than ever to come back this year stronger than ever.” Feld­man said.

So far so good for the Vik­ings, who in their eight league games have outscored their op­pon­ents by a 95-46 mar­gin. Lynn has been a key cog in the North­east of­fens­ive ma­chine, post­ing a .545 bat­ting av­er­age thus far to go along with eight ex­tra-base hits in eight games. Lynn also plays a stel­lar first base for the Vik­ings; he made a hand­ful of sprawl­ing catches in foul ground dur­ing Fri­day’s 23-8 vic­tory over Frank­lin Learn­ing Cen­ter.

When he fin­ishes his time at North­east, Lynn will pur­sue a de­gree in busi­ness man­age­ment at Lock Haven Uni­versity in cent­ral Pennsylvania.

“I want to make sure that I leave a leg­acy be­hind, that I tried my best to bring a re­build­ing and turn­around for the sports I played, par­tic­u­larly base­ball,” Lynn said. “It is my dream to take this team to the cham­pi­on­ship and bring home the win­ning trophy. I know we can do it, we just need to work as a team and help en­cour­age each oth­er and build each oth­er up.” ••

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