Franklin standout Noble leaves his ego on field

On High Schools

October 28, 2005|By MILTON KENT

You could move through the maze of hallways at Franklin, from building to building, and walk right by the leading rusher in the area and have no idea whom you were passing.

And frankly, that's just the way Scott Noble wants it. Until it's time to put on the pads and the uniform, it's completely OK with him if you don't know he is a football player. You'll never hear it from him.

"It's you," said Noble, a 5-foot-11 junior tailback. "If you feel you have to be that way to be big, then go ahead. I don't feel that I have to act like that to pump myself up. I just act the way I am."

The way Noble is, from all accounts, is one of the nicest kids at Franklin. Teachers and coaches, without prompting, speak glowingly of his temperament and modesty.

"I tell people that as talented a player as he is, he's that much better as a person," said Franklin athletic director Jill Myers.

Noble, who has 1,326 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns on 184 carries this season, is the breakout runner of the year in area high school football, but he's also a pretty well-kept secret for a variety of reasons.

For one thing, he is in his first season at Franklin, having transferred last winter from Poly. He made the varsity last year, but was unable to get regular playing time, so his name wasn't among the notables when the season began.

And then there's Franklin's football history, which, in recent years, has been something less than spectacular. Indeed, the Indians' 4-3 mark is already better than the last two seasons combined, and the school hasn't visited the state playoffs in 11 years.

Add to that the fact the Indians play in Baltimore County, whose football reputation outside of such schools as Hereford, Randallstown, Eastern Tech and Milford Mill is dismal, and it's easy to understand how Noble has been overlooked.

But, in his easygoing way, Noble is taking the lack of attention in stride.

"I don't find a reason to disrespect anyone or act like I'm superior," Noble said. "I'm the same as anybody else. I love the game of football and I like playing it. That's what I seem to shine at. Other people do different things. I'm still the same guy. It's just that on Saturdays, I go out there and play football."

This year, Noble is doing that as well as anyone in the area. He has run for at least 100 yards in all but one of the Indians' games, turning in a tremendous effort in Franklin's 30-24, double-overtime loss to Catonsville Sept. 23.

He ran for 344 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries in the game, which was admittedly terrific, save for the game's outcome.

"That was a standout game, but if you ask him, he'd tell you that he'd rather rush for 100 and win the game than go for the 344," said Franklin coach Anthony Burgos.

Burgos said he hadn't seen Noble play and didn't know much about him when the back transferred. What he learned, and quickly, was that Noble is a hard worker.

Burgos, who is in his third season at Franklin, told his players their program could say it had arrived when the players worked to improve without prompting from coaches. When Noble began organizing his teammates to commit themselves to better offseason conditioning, the coach knew he had someone special.

"This is what this kid has brought to this program," Burgos said. "Over the summer, even though this is his first year here, he got kids together and got them running on the track, running hills. And he did this on his own; not through my command or through any of the coaches.

"That's the type of leadership this kid has. In the weight room, we're talking about non-stop, relentless. He's pushing guys in the weight room. He's making them go and he's going. He's leading by example and I think that's the best leadership you can have."

Noble hasn't done it alone. Senior quarterback Louie Lahay is a 50 percent passer who has thrown for 566 yards and four touchdowns, and his chief target, 6-4 sophomore receiver Rashed Blackwell has 17 catches for 224 yards (a 13.2-yard average) and three touchdowns.

But if the Indians are going to crash the Class 3A North playoffs, they'll need someone to be a little nasty to get past first Parkville tomorrow, then Woodlawn and, finally, Dulaney.

Luckily, they have a guy who can do that.

"When you come see [Noble] on the field, it's a different thing," Burgos said. "When you see him in the weight room, it's a whole different attitude. I think he has that ability. He understands, and that's what makes him successful.

"That's what separates him, that he understands the difference between how to behave in normal society and how to change it and be that animal on the field. And when you see him on Saturday, he's far from nice on the field."

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