High School Soccer

Philadelphia Public League boys’ soccer preview

Photo: Amanda Capasso

PSP’s preview of Philadelphia’s high school boys’ soccer season concludes with a look at the Public League, broken down by division.

The A Division

After finishing 9-1-1 last year, Northeast High School finished second place in league play on head-to-head tiebreakers with Franklin Towne Charter. They went on to win the league playoff, beating FTC 1-0 in the championship. NE graduated a large numbers of seniors including Chris Black, the best player in the league, so a young team will look to protect their title. Sam Feldman, NE’s coach of many years, has retired. With a new coach and the loss of so many starters, NE will likely be in a rebuilding year.

Franklin Towne Charter (9-1-1) had an impressive run for so small a school, finishing first in the regular season by beating Northeast 3-0 and, through fierce defense, navigating their way to the league championship. They graduated a few contributors, but with veteran Dennis Drum as coach, look for FTC to compete again. Up there as well will be Washington HS, which finished with a record of 8-1-2. Washington won the public league in 2011, 2009, and 2008. Coach Chris Reid is a veteran of the school district, having coached at Lamberton before Washington. He reports losing some immigrant players to jobs.

Masterman HS (8-3) graduated 10 seniors, including the player who scored the most goals in the league, Harry Taggart. Masterman will have a rebuilding year, but with the pedigree of success at the school, expect another winning season.

Central HS (6-4-1), where I coach, graduated only five seniors, and has a core of talented players returning. Look to see senior goalie Greg Winter have another great season. Last year Winter saved three of six penalties. Senior Jake Dillon will look to improve on his tally of seven goals last season.

Fels and Lincoln finished at six and seven respectively in 2012. Below them was Bartram, which has fallen on hard times since their 2010 league championship. Coach Ian Turner reports that he has one player who could make his team into a championship contender this year. He is unsure, however, if the kid will play- this highlights the transient nature of many students’ lives in the Philadelphia public schools.

Prep Charter from Southwest Philly finished next. Just above the relegation zone, Preparatory Academy Charter, (PAC) finished tenth. PAC however, continues to run a good preseason, so look for a possible climb in the standings.

Frankford HS and Southern HS have been promoted to the top division this year after finishing first and second in the B division. Like the Premier League promoted sides, their goal will be to win a couple games and stay up.

The B Division

There are nine teams in the B Division. Boys Latin and Swenson were relegated from the A Division. They will look to show their dominance and win a spot back in A-Division.

Martin Luther King, Jr. HS finished third in the division, and will look to lead the league again. They have a new coach this year. Palumbo, George Washington Carver School of Engineering and Science (E&S), Olney Charter HS, , Franklin Learning Center (FLC) are also playing in the B Division.

SLA and Furness were promoted from the C division. Some talented players at Furness allowed them to challenge Lincoln in the play-in round of the playoffs last year, so they are a team to watch in the B-Division.

The C Division

There are nine teams (the number of the teams is in flux as the funding situation changes in the school district) in the bottom division: Lamberton, Bodein, Mastbaum, KIPP, Kensington, Roxborough, Del Val, NFCS, and Edison.

In this division, coaches will do their best to put eleven players whom a doctor has cleared on the field. Success is often on the coach’s back, as he or she introduces discipline and hard work to athletes new to organized sports. The top two teams will move into the B division, as well as earn a playoff spot. KIPP is new to the¬† league, but coach Luke Hotstetter was part of the program at Boys Latin, so look for some success from them. Kensington also looks to build a successful year, after finishing second two out of the last three years. Their goal this year will be to win the C Division and get promoted. Coach Jim Hardy will already be known to some PSP readers as the organizer of Kensington Soccer Club.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for writing this series Josh!

  2. Big game today between Olney (11-0-1) vs Franklin Town Charter. Look for underdog Olney to surprise many.

  3. Salube Andrew says:

    Its nice hearing you have made it this big Mr Josh. You were my high school English teacher way back in 2002 in Uganda-Africa in that mission school

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