Meet 6-foot, 220-pound Sean Goldstein. If you happen to be a running back from the Inter-Ac league, which encompasses a number private high schools, you've probably already run into the Chestnut Hill Academy middle-line backer — literally — and chances are, it didn't feel too good.
With a bench-press maximum of 300 pounds, and a squat of 410, the 17-year-old senior anchors a powerful defense that has held opponents scoreless in five of its nine football matchups this season. The only time the defense gave up more than 10 points was in an opening-day win against Archbishop Ryan.
Chestnut Hill now sits atop the Inter-Ac with a 9-0 record.
After triumphing in its last two games by a combined total of 95-0, the Blue Devils face off on Nov. 10 against another undefeated team, Malvern Preparatory School. If Chestnut Hill wins, it will be champions of the Inter-Ac.
"Our goal since the beginning of the season was to be one of the top teams in the city," said Goldstein, "and so far, everything's going as planned."
In a 40-0 win against Haverford High School on Oct. 27, Goldstein had 10 tackles — even though he only played in the first half and a few minutes in the second — before being lifted for a sub because the game wasn't close.
The teen certainly isn't shy about his love of tackling.
"It's just a lot of fun, especially after coming to school for a full day, and you have to go through a lot of hard work. It's fun to be able to let go of all your aggression that builds up over the day."
His philosophy on defense is simple. Since he is one of the few defensive players who doesn't play offense as well, Goldstein believes it's his job to add energy to a group of guys who may not be quite as rested as he is.
"When I get in there, I try to make sure that everybody's real hyped up. I try and be real loud, and get everybody pumped up."
Coach Richard Knox is impressed by Goldstein's work ethic, noting that he has a 3.0 GPA and good SAT scores, along with that impressive football résumé.
"He's an extremely hard worker," said Knox. "He's dedicated to putting in the time to become the best football player he can."
Goldstein is currently in the process of choosing a college, and football will be a big part of the decision. If he picks a Division I-AA school like Lafayette College or Lehigh University, the road to becoming a regular player could be short. But he's also hoping to play as a walk-on for his favorite team, the University of Miami, a celebrated Division I-A school.
Making that team, however, will be much harder.
"Hopefully," he said of his upcoming decision, "it will just click one way or the other."