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Northeast’s finest: Father Judge goalie Mark Pohl is this year’s Catholic League Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Editor’s note: The seasonal sports winners are chosen by the Northeast Times’ sports staff based on both on-field excellence, as well as strong character and leadership abilities off of it.

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While never an easy task, the time has come to name the 2014 fall sports winners. There were triumphant highlights all over the Northeast: the Franklin Towne Charter girls soccer team won its fourth consecutive league crown, while the Archbishop Ryan Ragdolls won their third straight Catholic League girls soccer title. And who could forget the Northeast High School boys soccer team, going undefeated en route to its second league championship in three years. On the gridiron, Ryan’s Samir Bullock did something only one other football player in city history had accomplished and guided his team to its first playoff win in a decade.

All the student-athletes and coaches are winners, but these nine names deserve to be especially commended for a fantastic job well done on and off the field. Before the calendar turns to 2015, let’s take a look at the fall sports winners, who will be honored at the 29th annual Northeast Sports Awards Banquet in the spring:

Football Coach of the Year

Bill Harrigan, Samuel Fels

In sports, wins and losses mean a lot. But they don’t mean everything. Having just completed his seventh season at the helm of the Fels football program, Bill Harrigan has lost more games than he’s won. But when you peel back all the layers of the onion, it becomes evident that the Central graduate has made the best with what he’s got. Though the Fels program consistently struggles with personnel numbers on the field, Harrigan guided the Panthers to the playoffs for the second straight time in 2014. Though they lost to eventual Class AAAA champion Ben Franklin, the yeoman job Harrigan has done cannot be overstated. The Public League is not an easy place to compete on the football field on a yearly basis, but that’s exactly what Harrigan has done in his time at the school. And he’s coached up some very good players, too, from alumni Nijay Kelly and Jylil Reeder to Wesley White and Aasim Campbell this year. While Fels may sometimes get overwhelmed on the scoreboard, the team’s effort is always steadfast, and that starts all the way up top with the head coach, who continues to do a great job despite not having a home field for his team to call its own.

Public League Football Player of the Year

Shareef Miller, George Washington

Pittsburgh. Temple. Michigan State. Arizona State. Penn State. Rutgers. Virginia Tech. All of these major Division-I college football programs are competing for Shareef Miller’s services, and rightfully so. Though the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Miller won’t make an official college decision until early next year, he will be playing big-time football on Saturdays for someone this fall. It’s not hard to understand why. Miller, who won two Public League titles with Frankford before transferring to Washington for his stellar senior season, can get to the quarterback as well as or better than anyone else in the city. Double teams don’t do much to slow him down, and he helped the Eagles advance to the Class AAAA semifinals this season. In the right system, Miller has the ability to be a majorly impactful player next year, as his combination of speed, strength and athleticism make him a terror for opposing offensive lines to contain.

Catholic League Football Player of the Year

Samir Bullock, Archbishop Ryan

As far as superlatives go, there’s not many left to describe Samir Bullock’s dominance. The Ryan senior running back, who won this award in 2013 as well, followed up his brilliant junior season (where he became just the 11th rusher in city history to cross the 2,000-yard mark in a single season) with quite an encore performance. In 2014, Bullock rushed for 2,068 yards, becoming only the second back to ever cross the 2k barrier multiple times. He scored 24 total touchdowns for the Raiders, helping them to their first postseason win since 2004. Bullock has over 5,000 yards for his career, and being undersized is the only thing keeping the classy, humble Bullock from latching on to a major college football program. He’ll play somewhere in 2015, and whatever team gets him will be a lucky one, as few work harder at their craft than Bullock does.

Boys Soccer Coach of the Year

Kraig Feldman, Northeast

In 2012, Sam Feldman and the Northeast soccer team won a Public League title. Feldman retired after the magical run, passing the reins to his son, Kraig; 2013 brought forth a dominant regular season, but the favored Vikings fell short in the title game against Central. There would be no repeats in 2014. Feldman and company won their first 15 games of the season, the last of which was a 4–1 win over archrival Washington in the Public League championship. A close loss to Wood in the District 12 city title game kept the Vikings out of the state playoffs, but that wasn’t enough to diminish the unbridled dominance that Feldman coached his team to in 2014. Becoming a champion alongside his father meant everything to the younger Feldman, and he will have a chance to tie Sam for number of titles won at Northeast (two) when he returns to take another crack at it in 2015.

Public League Boys Soccer Player of the Year

Abraham Kamara, Northeast

Some might question a transfer from Father Judge to Northeast for a senior soccer season, but Northeast senior forward Abraham Kamara had the last laugh toward any detractors in 2014. A scoring machine, Kamara is one of the few student-athletes who can say he won both Catholic and Public League soccer titles in his high school career. Nobody could cover him, and his hat trick in the league title game put the Vikings over the top. After that game, Feldman said, “All Abe does is score,” and he wasn’t lying. Wherever Kamara ends up next year, he’ll have a tough act to follow; he’ll also have two championships to show off, as his speed, athleticism and ability to put the ball into the back of the net are all second-to-none.

Catholic League Boys Soccer Player of the Year

Mark Pohl, Father Judge

What a return it was for Mark Pohl in 2014. After playing at Judge as a freshman, the senior keeper left John Dunlop’s Crusaders program to enroll in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program, which prevents players from suiting up for their high school team. While Pohl was still going to school at Judge, he wasn’t playing soccer, and he missed it. That’s why he decided to return for his senior season, and it’s a good thing he did. Pohl was a leader on a very young team, and helped the reigning Catholic League champs get back to the semifinals before bowing out. He posted eight shutouts and guided his team to a second-place finish in the rugged Catholic League. Although Judge failed to repeat, a big reason why the Crusaders got as far as they did was because of their senior backbone in goal, who will not be easy for Dunlop to replace next season.

Girls Soccer Coach of the Year

Ryan Haney, Archbishop Ryan

All Haney has done in his 10 years as the Ryan girls soccer head coach is win, capturing five league titles in the process, including the last three. His teams have done so with brutish force and total domination, and went further than ever in 2014, winning the program’s first PIAA state playoff soccer game. Though they lost to Elizabethtown of Lancaster County in the quarterfinals, the success Haney has had the past few years has been unparalleled. It would be no surprise to see him win another league title after going 21–2 in 2014, as Haney brings back a large chunk of core players. The more the Ragdolls win, the more talented players the program will attract, and that’s in large part due to the fact that young student-athletes want to play for Haney: he wins, and he gets his players to the next level, which is really what high school athletics are all about.

Public League Girls Soccer Player of the Year

Devon Keller, Franklin Towne Charter

After getting gutted by graduation following the 2013 season, it would have been pretty easy for the Franklin Towne Charter girls soccer program to focus on what it had lost. Luckily for the Coyotes, its lone senior captain wouldn’t let that happen. Devon Keller had big shoes to fill when she stepped in to replace incumbent sweeper Rebecca Gilborges, and she did so admirably. Keller kept the new-look Coyotes together and, as a result, they never missed a beat, winning the program’s fourth consecutive Public League crown. A four-year starter, Keller has the rare distinction of being able to say she won a championship in every single year she suited up for Towne.

Catholic League Girls Soccer Player of the Year

Jazmin Gonzalez, Archbishop Ryan

There’s not enough room in this entire newspaper to list all the ways Jazmin Gonzalez helped her team win three straight Catholic League titles. For her career, she posted a remarkable 55 shutouts in goal, which broke a school record. She came tantalizingly close to the state record of 58, and did not allow a single goal to a league opponent during the regular season. Gonzalez’s quietly intense personality was exactly what the Ragdolls needed between the posts; when she insisted her ambition was to not let up a single goal before the season began, she meant that, and almost did just that, allowing just 12 goals in 23 games all season. Gonzalez has plenty of soccer left in her career, too, as she is signed to play for Charleston Southern University in South Carolina beginning in 2015. ••

George Washington’s Shareef Miller has been named the Public League Football Player of the Year .

Kickin’ it: Ryan’s Jazmin Gonzalez is this year’s Catholic League Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

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