Meet the Football Falcon seniors … Chris Noel

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Every football team needs a Chris Noel. Not a vocal, rah-rah kind of player, he just goes out and gets the job done – his job, that is, whether starting this season at center, where he “feels real comfortable,” or at offensive left guard. “Joey (Hughes) and I’ve been flip-flopping in practice, and it could be that way in a game.” Chris doesn’t care, talking to me about last season being “a great experience,” as Assistant Coach Jerry Boat guided Chris’s shift from defense to “O” line. “Coach Boat has a lot of wisdom about football and he’s always testing us with his riddles!”

And Coach Boat on Chris Noel? “He’s quick, smart and determined. Learns fast. Whether he’s at center or left guard, he’s going to play an important role in the success of our “O” line.”

And the most important role for this season’s “O” line? Protecting sophomore quarterback Brice Kinsler.  Why do I think young Brice is going to have a great season? Listen to a senior lineman like Chris Noel: “I love protecting Brice! I’ll sacrifice myself for him!”  “Why, Chris?” I asked. He answered, “His great attitude!  It’s almost an honor to block for him.  That’s how all we linemen feel.” (Brice, I hope you’re reading these Senior Profiles. Before you take your first snap, you’ve importantly earned the respect of your teammate seniors.)

Creekers Mike and Cassie Noel’s youngest of two sons was born in Scottsdale, March 30, 1993. Older brother Matt “Two-Clap” Noel (CSHS ’08), now a rising junior at NAU, was a DB and reliable placekick holder for the ’07 Falcons. Chris attended Bella Vista School through 8th grade and played his first organized football as a DB and linebacker for the Freshman Falcons. As a sophomore under JV Head Coach Matt Mason, he stayed at those positions. Chris earned his first letter as a junior – after his switch to OLG. He rosters at an almost unnoticed 6’3”, 205 pounds, his preferred playing “stats” – but, he volunteers, “I can always get stronger. I’m working on that.”

Goals for the 2010 Falcons? “We’ve put in so much work this summer that we’ve got to achieve our goals, winning Region and State.” And for Chris, personally? “I want to start on special teams. I love kick-offs!  At center, no bad exchanges; at guard, no offsides penalties.”

As a National Honor Society member, Chris quietly puts up a 4.0 GPA. He’s also a DECA member and, comporting with his quiet, modest demeanor, Chris’ most enjoyable class is ceramics. That’s a considerable “distance” from the business degree he’d like to pursue at the University of Oregon. His second choice is NAU.

Is there football in Chris’ future?  “No, this season is basically it for me.” What part of football will he miss most? “The family I’ve come to know as a member of the Cactus Shadows football team.”

Chris Noel, I hope you know you are a much-admired member of that Falcon “family.”