According to the official Good Counsel soccer statistics, defender Chuck Peck has scored five goals in his three years at the school. But according to Peck's own figures, he has scored many more times than that.
"I'm mainly a defensive player and I don't get involved in the offense that much," said Peck, a second team all-Met selection at sweeper last year. "But my job is to stop the opposition from scoring. If they score, I'm responsible. So I give myself a goal every time I stop a player from scoring. That's how I score.
"Forwards get goals. I get shutouts."
Peck, whose ball-handling skills and agressiveness make him one of the top defenders in the area, led the Falcons to a third-place finish in the Metro Conference with an 11-8-5 record last year. Good Counsel's defense also was one of the best in the area.
The Falcons allowed 26 goals in 25 overall games and Peck was credited with clearing six balls off the line, saving six sure goals.
"It's essential that Chuck do well for us to have a good year," said Good Counsel Coach Art Iwanicki. "He's our catalyst. When Chuck plays well, you can see the players around him playing better."
"He (Peck) is as good or better than anything in (Montgomery) county," said Blair Coach Bill Birmingham, whose team recently tied Good Counsel in a scrimmage. "He's real consistent and makes very few mistakes. He also showed himself as the team's leader. We had a hard time getting past him."
Peck, who made the varsity as a freshman and started the past two seasons, is one of the most durable players in the area. He is 5-foot-11, weighs 145 pounds and played in 23 straight games last year, logging 2,234 minutes of playing time, a figure that broke the school mark by more than 500 minutes. Peck missed the final game of the year to attend a funeral.
"That streak really did something for the team," said Iwanicki. "You could see it pick the other players up. But I doubt if he can match it this year. Remember, I have to groom a sweeper for next year."
Peck's enthusiasm and ability made him a natural selection as the team's captain. But Iwanicki fears Peck's aggressivness on the field may eventually work against him.
"Chuck is such an intense player," said Iwanicki. "When he gets up and enthusiastic, the whole game changes. But I have to keep giving him a rest. Otherwise he starts running all over the field and all he does is tire himself out."
Peck agrees. "I'm very emotional when I play. I get anxious and I want to make things happen, and sometimes I overcommit myself."
Peck, whose brother Mark is the team's starting center back as a sophomore, insists he's happy playing defense and making plays that go largely unappreciated. But when pressed, the idea of being a goal-scorer is tempting.
"To me, playing defense is an art. As a sweeper, I have to be able to control the defense," said Peck. "Except for the goalie, I am the only player who can see all of the field, and I have to be able to predict what's going to happen and to read the play. It forces me to think constantly.
"But sometimes I do wish I played on offense," Peck continued. "The other players are getting the goals and when I see them getting patted on the back, I feel sort of left out.
"But then I realize defense is my job, so I just concentrate on shutting somebody else out."