Greg Constantine paid close attention to his fellow center midfielder on Bowie High School's soccer team last fall. Constantine watched how his teammate and friend played the game on the field, and also how he led the Bulldogs when they were off the field.
And now that Scott Buete, the teammate and friend, has graduated and is playing for the University of Maryland, Constantine has put the lessons he learned to use as Bowie's new playmaker.
Constantine is one of the Bulldogs' senior captains, along with goalkeeper Chad Morris and stopper Chris Hodges, and has helped lead Bowie to an 8-4-1 record entering Monday's regular season finale at Largo. The Bulldogs face High Point in the first round of the 4A South Region tournament next week.
"I guess I've followed in [Buete's] footsteps," Constantine said. "He taught me a lot. I'm asking for the ball more this year--he taught me that. I try to play very simple--when I get the ball, I try to change the flow and do things quickly. I take only one or two touches; Scott taught me that."
Buete was a four-year starter and two-time All-Met midfielder at Bowie. He finished his high school career with 31 goals and 16 assists and led the Bulldogs to three Prince George's 4A league titles.
"I think that after Scott left, we didn't necessarily become a better team, but we became more team-oriented," Constantine said. "We couldn't depend on Scott anymore. Last year, he could decide games for us."
"Greg definitely had big shoes to fill, and I think he's done a great job," junior forward Andy Plum said. "He's a simple player; he doesn't make things complicated. Our team has better games when Greg controls the middle of the field."
Plum leads the team with eight goals; Constantine has five goals and two assists. Constantine's favorite target is Plum; the two started playing soccer together at age 5 on a team called the Bullfrogs.
Ever since then, Constantine and Plum have been good friends and have spent countless hours playing soccer together in the front yard of Plum's Mitchellville home. Plum's father, Walter, built a goal in the front yard that is regulation height but only half the width of a regular goal.
"Andy is my main target because I have the most confidence in him," Constantine said. "That doesn't mean that our other forwards aren't good. You know how a quarterback has a favorite receiver? It's like that. I just look for him."
"Scott's at Maryland, but he and Greg talk now and then, I understand," Bowie Coach Rich Kirkland said. "And this younger guy, Andy Plum, is friends with Greg. It's like three generations of good friends playing together side by side."
With the Maryland regional tournaments starting this week in girls and boys soccer, Prince George's Extra looks at two players who will be central to their teams' chances of advancing: Eleanor Roosevelt midfielder Guin Granite and Bowie midfielder Greg Constantine.
For complete postseason schedules, see The Washington Post's high school page in the Sports section.
CAPTION: Bowie midfielder Greg Constantine, left, honed his game playing alongside All-Met Scott Buete, who now plays for Maryland. Constantine has become the main playmaker and has helped the Bulldogs secure a spot in the 4A South Region tournament.