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Yagoub has season to remember at Northeast

Amerr Yagoub celebrates with the plaque and trophy he and his teammates won after Northeast won the Public League soccer championship. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

It turned out being a great career.

It almost ended before it started.

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When Amerr Yagoub tried out for the Northeast High School soccer team as a freshman, it didn’t go incredibly well. In fact, when the final roster for the junior varsity team was posted, his name wasn’t included.

“It wasn’t good, I barely made the JV team,” said Yagoub, the starting center midfielder on the Vikings. “I wasn’t on the roster. I was added later after the coach looked at me, we made eye contact and he added me. If I didn’t make the team that year, I probably wouldn’t have tried out my sophomore year.”

Believe it or not, sophomore year was worse.

The Public League didn’t play in the fall, the season was bumped to the spring. That’s when Yagoub came down with coronavirus, and it wiped out his entire season.

“Having my season canceled was devastating,” said Yagoub, who lives in Bustleton. “It was really bad because I couldn’t even go to the games. I wasn’t seeing what they were doing. I would have to call them after the game to see how they did. It was so hard.

“They won the championship that year, and I didn’t contribute at all. I really wanted to be part of the team, but I couldn’t because of COVID. I just had to miss it and try to get better.”

Don’t worry, Yagoub’s story has a very happy ending to his final year in the Public League.

Yagoub led Northeast to the Public League championship game, and on Friday, Jonathan Silva scored a goal off a corner kick with 15 seconds left to put the Vikings ahead of Masterman. They held on and won the school’s second Public League championship in three years.

“I was in the box when they kicked it and (Silva) told me to let it go,” Yagoub said. “I was going to jump up for it and he told me to leave it. I knew it was going in, just from the whole game, we had chances, but as soon as he touched the ball and I heard the sound of the ball hitting him, I knew it was going in. You just have the urge, you start praying, I knew it was going in, I was filled with joy.

“It was such a good game, and a great year. We played pretty well all year. We had some upsets, we lost some tough games. Washington beat us and Franklin Towne beat us, but other than that, we had a really good season, and I think we were very confident in the championship.”

It might seem like Northeast’s championship would cap off a season of hard work, but Yagoub insists it’s way more than that.

This championship’s foundation was built about a year ago.

“We lost a really tough game against Lincoln last year in the semifinals and that hurt so much,” Yagoub said. “I remember after we lost, I made a promise to our coaches that we would win the championship this year.

“I promised them because I wanted it so bad. I know they wanted it so bad. These coaches are my mentors, they’re great leaders. They taught me so much. I really wanted to win a championship for them. I wanted to win it for all of us.”

Yagoub’s promise came to fruition, but he’s quick to pass out praise to everyone on the team.

This wasn’t about him winning a championship, it was about Northeast winning the soccer championship.

“Winning a championship as a sophomore was very cool because we won, but it means a lot more to me because this is my senior year and because I was a captain on the team,” Yagoub said. “But this was a great win for everyone. We played so hard all year, and in the championship game, it was a tough game. But we did really well.

“It means a lot to win with this team. The coaches have done everything for us, they’ve done a lot for me. It means a lot that we could win for them.”

The season isn’t over.

Because they won the Public League championship, the Vikings will represent the league in the District 12 championship game. Their opponent will be Father Judge, a team they have history with.

The two teams battled during the spring of 2021, when both the Public League and the Crusaders opted to play fall sports in the spring season due to the pandemic. Both schools are also natural rivals because both are soccer powers in the city.

“I’m really excited about playing Judge,” Yagoub said. “They’re very good. It’s fun to play good teams. We’ve had good games with them, I know they’re very good, so I’m happy we can play them.”

Yagoub would love to win a District 12, and eventually a state championship, but the biggest goal has already been accomplished.

Next year, Yagoub hopes to continue his soccer career in college. He also hopes to stay involved in athletics after he graduates.

“I either want to study exercise science or sports medicine,” Yagoub said. “It’s good being in the field of sports and helping athletes. I want to be included in that in the future.

“I do well in school. I love science. My dad is very interested in science, he’s gotten me interested. He’s not a scientist, he works with autistic kids, but he’s very good at science, and he’s taught me a lot.”

Now Yagoub is doing the same in the game he loves.

When he’s not playing or studying, he also mentors kids. And he’s teaching them something he knows very well.

“I’ve helped coach little kids, and I love doing that,” Yagoub said. “I feel like it helps me. It has helped me become a better leader. And I like helping the kids. It’s helped me a lot, too.”

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