By Jeff Helfrich/NPSL.com
Growing up, Noah Roblin was often shoved into the goal when his older brothers, Seth and Kyle, wanted to practice shooting.
“Being the youngest sibling helped,” Roblin said. “I didn’t like them some days. But it helped me. It made me more physical.”
Now, old friends of his brothers attend Noah’s National Premier Soccer League U-19 pilot games with Southern States SC. They shake their heads and wish that level of play was in the area in their youth, Paul Roblin, the boys’ father, said.
Noah, 17, has started both of Southern States SC’s U-19 matches. The defender/midfielder is a two-time all-state selection at Oak Grove High School and was a founding member of the Southern States Academy under Coach Carl Reynolds.
“It makes me feel like an old man,” Noah Roblin said. “I’ve known Carl since I was nine. Watching him progress and a coach and having the dream of starting a club. We used to practice at a field without lights. Now we get top-level gear. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Noah says the NPSL pilot is a lot “higher paced” than his other experiences in U-18 play or high school. It’s more physical and actions have to be faster, he said. He was excited to get a chance to play in it.
Paul is a former president of Southern States and Hattiesburg Youth Soccer. He holds a USSF “D” License and coached Noah until age 12. He didn’t know much about soccer before his older sons got into the game.
Paul was happy to hand Noah off to Reynolds, despite becoming more comfortable coaching his sons as years went on. His military background caused him to try to instill toughness in his boys with less emphasis on skill. He’s enjoyed watching Noah develop under Reynolds.
“My dad is a coach 24/7,” Noah Roblin said. “We kept balls in the living room and dribbled around the house. It had a great impact on me. He still coaches me from the sidelines.”
Reynolds has enjoyed seeing Noah get pushed harder in U-19 play. He likes the mix of younger and older players in the pilot and touts a better training environment.
Noah’s ceiling is as high as he wants it to, Reynolds said. It will come down to how hard he works and how he performs in contests like U-19 and in college.
“He’s gotten technically better,” Reynolds said. “In the last few years he’s gotten tactically better. They understand that better at this age. Physically, he’s grown. He’s very technically gifted. He has a real understanding of the game.”
Noah’s left-sided style will put him in demand with college coaches, Reynolds said. Whenever he’s in the midfield, he tries to fire a threatening pass.
“I like to play that pass that puts the needle in their neck and makes them scared,” Noah said.
Noah’s current desire is to play in college. He’s had four visits so far, including one on Sept. 24.
“I want to play at the highest level possible,” Noah said. “I want to ride the wave as far as it’ll take me.”
Photo Credit: 3SMedia