Noel leaves lasting legacy at CHHSPublished 11:00pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013
When one thinks of words describing wide receivers, “quiet” is not usually brought up. But then again, Josh Noel isn’t your usual wide receiver.
Noel, a senior wide receiver for the Charles Henderson Trojans, goes about football like he goes about life. Noel doesn’t seek the spotlight. It just seems to find him.
Noel has rolled up yards in each of his two seasons in the starting rotation, and sits second all time in Trojan history in receiving yards. The quiet senior trails Charles Henderson legend Jawara “Rah Rah” White by 176 yards.
The soft-spoken wide out says he used to sit in the bleachers at Veterans Memorial Stadium and watch White make plays, hoping to get his chance to the same one day.
“Rah Rah was such a big playmaker when he was here,” Noel said. “I looked up to him when I was younger, and tried to pick up things from him. He is a great athlete and it is an honor to be close to him in the all time book.”
Historically, the Trojans didn’t put the ball in the air much under former head coach Hugh Fountain. But with the new style of football played under head coach Mike Dean and offensive coordinators Gregg Baker and current play caller Rodney Jordan, Noel has had a lot more opportunities to make plays.
Dean feels the game has evolved a lot over the last few years, and players like Noel are great to have.
“Today’s game is all about 1-on-1 match ups,” Dean said. “We try to create as many match ups as we can, because with Noel, and our other skill guys, we feel we have an advantage. The game of football these days is a numbers game. If we come out and they have
the box loaded,
then we are going to throw the football. We don’t want to be one dimensional, and players like Noel keep us from being that.”
Noel has been the favorite target of quarterback Austin Ingram in the past two season, accounting for 948 of Ingram’s 3,884 passing yards.
The Charles Henderson receiving corps, made up by the likes of Noel, John Johnson, Joshua Pearson, Isom Coley and Kenyatta Jones is loaded with talent. The members of the group are all friends, but see each day as a competition and a chance to get better.
“We are very competitive with each other,” Noel said. “We try to out do each other all the time. We have a competition to see who drops the least amount of passes. I believe that we are the best group of receivers in the state.
Dean, a defensive guru, said he likes the fact Noel dresses in orange and navy on Friday nights.
“He is a long player,” Dean said. “He has great athleticism. He has good speed. He is smart on the field and in the classroom. He has good hands. There is always room to get better, but he is very talented right now.
As his senior season winds down, Noel knows that every time he takes the field, it could be his last. The Trojans sit 11-0 overall, and have cruised to wins over the last six weeks.
Noel, and the rest of the Trojans, isn’t looking back at their accomplishments. They are all concentrated on what is in front of them.
“We have won some games, but that was last week and before that,” Noel said. “We want to get that ring, and that trophy in Tuscaloosa. If records come, then cool. But as long as that ring is on my finger, I don’t need my name in a record book.”
Charles Henderson travels to Childersburg Friday night in the second round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs.
Kickoff is set 7 p.m.