Franklin Regional's Roberge enjoys leadership role as team's center-mid
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Franklin Regional soccer player Jake Roberge does more than accept responsibility: He embraces it.
Invites it, even.
Roberge, a junior, is one of the captains for the Franklin Regional boys soccer team, which entered the week 3-0.
More than just the captaincy, however, Roberge shoulders the load of playing center-midfielder — the position that most resembles a quarterback on the soccer field. The responsibility is familiar to Roberge, who also plays point guard in basketball.
“I definitely want the weight on my shoulders,” said Roberge, who also kicks for the Franklin Regional football team. “As my coach says and as I say, I like being the quarterback on the team. That's what it is in basketball — the point guard is the quarterback, and center-mid is kind of the quarterback of the team (in soccer). My teammates help me out a lot, but that's something I definitely like to do.”
The center-midfielder traditionally bears a heavy offensive and defensive load in soccer, and Roberge is no exception. He expects to play a heavier defensive role in Franklin Regional's game against defending section champion Kiski Area on Sept. 17. In other games, he's the leader of the Panthers' offensive attack.
“Jake's such a fantastic athlete that he can cover so much ground in the midfield,” Franklin Regional coach Ryan Montgomery said. “It's just unparalleled. Even guys from the games that we've played, they keep saying, ‘Geez, (No.) 14 is just everywhere.' That's a big part of it. You put him in the midfield and let his athleticism take the game over.”
Montgomery said in addition to Roberge's speed, strength and ability to read defenses, the junior also is one of the best leapers in the WPIAL — a trait that helps both offensively and defensively.
“(The goal is to) get to every ball in the air,” Roberge said. “Anything less than that is kind of a disappointment.”
Roberge helped lead Franklin Regional to a second-place finish in Section 1-AAA last season. The Panthers bowed out of the WPIAL playoffs with a 1-0 loss to eventual champion Canon-McMillan in the quarterfinals. Roberge was named to the Class AAA all-WPIAL team, the only sophomore to achieve the honor.
This season, Roberge is targeting bigger things. The Panthers are led by a large crop of juniors and are seeking a section championship — at the very least — in their second season in 1-AAA.
“There's definitely some good senior leadership as well, but I'd say the junior class is really going to have to step up this year,” Roberge said. “These next two years should be our years. But we want that. We want the pressure on our backs.”
Roberge also plays for Beadling Soccer Club. He said the experience of playing against college recruits every game helped him improve.
While he still has another year remaining at Franklin Regional after this one, Roberge is considering a college career of his own. His brother, Michael, is a freshman soccer player at Northwestern.
“I want to go to a good academic school,” he said. “My parents have drilled that into me since the day I was born: use sports to get into a good academic school. If the right fit pops up (with Division I), that's definitely the goal.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Crosby OK with Neal comments about trade
- Penguins rebound with shutout of Predators
- CDC’s misinformation spreads faster than Ebola virus
- Fenced-in deer hunts spark debate
- Pa. Supreme Court in ‘sad state’ as scandals tarnish reputation
- Syrian border town emerges as pivot point in Islamic State fight
- Starkey: Chryst missed his only shot
- Gibsonia’s Saad on ascent to NHL stardom
- Pirates must weigh risk, reward in attempt to sign Martin
- Robinson: Rooney retains North Side roots
- Penn State players regroup amid losing streak