BROOMFIELD -- Like so many top-flight soccer players last year, Noah Chapleski was forced to choose between two roads -- playing for Rush Academy or playing for his high school team.
The midfielder took the one less traveled by opting to remain with Broomfield for his sophomore season. And the choice turned out to make all the difference with Chapleski earning some pretty sweet honors when everything was said and done.
The Eagle was one of two players from the state named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's All-American team. And being only 15 years-old when he earned the accolade, Chapleski is the youngest player from Colorado ever to be named to the team.
"It was crazy to hear that," he said. "Really, I was shocked."
Chapleski is the latest of a run of top players from Broomfield who have been named to the team, including Matt Martella and Ryan Aweida. But it was the Eagles' last NSCAA All-American that most inspired the star midfielder in receiving the award.
Chapleski's older brother, Cole, was named to the team in 2009 as a senior.
"I've always looked up to him, so it meant a lot to follow in his footsteps," the younger Chapleski said.
Even though Noah earned his All-American spot two years before Cole -- now a senior midfielder at the University of Denver -- there is little sibling rivalry.
"He was very proud of me," Noah Chapleski said.
Chapleski, along with Cherry Creek's Miguel Jamie, were the Colorado players named to the All-American team. But the NSCAA team was not the only honor the Broomfield midfielder received this season. He was also named to the NSCAA's All-Region VII team and was a Gatorade Player of the Year nominee.
The attention Chapleski garnered at such an early stage of his career did not surprise Jim Davidson at all. The Broomfield coach marks the sophomore as one of the most technical and creative players to come through his system.
"His ability to create space for us and find the runs of play and the feet and pick out the right balls is just what his game is all about," Davidson said.
Chapleski's ability on the pitch was more than evident this past season in Broomfield's run to the Class 4A semifinals. He was one of the Eagles' top attackers with five goals, but made his living setting up the plays, finishing with 19 assists.
Turning so many heads, so early in his career spells big things for Chapleski as he continues to develop, Davidson said.
"From a college standpoint this is a great honor, programs are more than aware of the All-Americans from around the country," Davidson said. "To be recognized so early bodes well for him to play at a very high level at the next level."
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