Herndon - Not too many schools can look back on a 3-7 football season with satisfaction, but at Herndon, coach Don Noll and athletic director Lou Pukal are doing just that.

Noll, in his first year at the school after turning out some of Lee High School's more exciting teams in the early 70's, faced what he recently admitted was "an even bigger rebuilding job than I thought" when he began at Herndon in the fall. The team was coming off a 1-8-1 season, which included an embarrassing 50-0 home-coming loss to Langley.

Things were rough for Noll from the start as he saw his team held scoreless for 12 straight quarters before defeating Marshall in the season's fourth game.

"A lot of kids could have quit after those first few games," said Noll, "but our senior had a great attitude and they hung in there. They showed character."

A late-season victory over powerful Chantilly was especially gratifying to Noll, who is optimistic about next year. So is Pukal, who says, "Don really turned the attitude around. He's established a good feeling about Herndon football."

An opposing coach agrees, saying "Herndon is a school with good athletes. Noll is a good coach, particularly offensively. Look for a good program there."