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Yoder, Curry leave their marks on schools


Pennridge’s Sean Yoder and Plumstead Christian’s Carson Curry have seldom crossed paths.

Yet the two share plenty in common.

Both are seniors. Both are elite, first team all-league combo guards. Both will play in college, with Yoder having committed to the Naval Academy and Curry weighing several Division III offers.

Both took their schools to new heights. Yoder led Pennridge to its first District One final four on Feb. 26, and his Rams battle District 12’s Lincoln in the first round of states on Saturday. Curry guided the Panthers to the PIAA elite eight last season.

“Sean and Jon Post are captains,” said Pennridge coach Dean Behrens. “They made all of the guys feel important and comfortable. Sean is a modest kid. If a kid makes a mistake, Sean is positive in helping that player through that.”

“Carson is a high character young man with a really pleasant and fun personality,” shared Plumstead Christian coach John Elton, who has coached Curry since he was 11. “He has been an absolute joy to his coaches and teammates.”

“He is a quick, instinctual combo guard with excellent handles who can score in all facets of the game – he moves great off the ball,” added Plumstead Athletic Director Jim Zeldenrust. “Carson is a great teammate who loves to compete.”

Both rank among their school’s all-time top two scorers. Yoder’s bucket against Norristown in a district second-round win gave him 1,361 points and a new Pennridge record. He has since added 29 more points.

“This year, it was beneficial to have Sean with the ball in his hands a lot,” Behrens noted. “When you put him at the 1, it puts so much more pressure on teams. Defensively, he usually covers the best player on each team.”

“I was a slasher first who worked my way out to the perimeter,” Yoder described. “I was always a small forward but as I moved up, I started playing point guard and I’ve developed those point guard skills over the last four years.”

Curry tallied nearly 500 points this season. “He has a unique inside/out scoring ability, with a very good jump shot accompanied by his ability to weave through traffic and finish strongly at the basket,” Elton assessed.

“Playing AAU a year up, you’re underdeveloped compared to the rest of the guys so I naturally had to be a 3-point shooter,” Curry recalled. “As I got older and more athletic, I was more of a driver. It’s something I take pride in and the three was almost a second resort.”

Curry’s favorite memories are the state playoff games; yet his 1,000th point was bittersweet. “My grandmother died that day so our family was a little down,” Curry admitted, “but a lot of them came out that day to support my game. We got to feel good in a rough hour.”

He graduates from Plumstead with 1,379 points … just five short of the Panther record, held by Max Drake, Curry’s Government teacher. “I watched his games when I was younger and he is someone I looked up to,” Curry offered. “He is very encouraging with the team and me.”

Curry has the personal connection to Drake. Until 2016, Pennridge’s career leading scorer was Tim Abruzzo who played college basketball at Navy. Just like Yoder.

“Once I started talking to Navy, I tried to soak up all of the information I could from Tim,” Yoder commented.

“At some point,” Yoder continued, “I realized that basketball is going to end, whenever that is. It can only take me so far. You look for the most opportunity in the school, and Navy presented a unique opportunity with endless connections.”

“I saw Sean as a seventh-grader, and I thought ‘Wow!’” Behrens remembered. The coach lobbied for Yoder to play freshman ball as an eighth-grader. Yoder started at point guard as a sophomore.

“He had a skill set that doesn’t come around too often,” Behrens continued. “I saw his length. His quickness came to fruition. Then you find out what kind of kid he is: how dedicated and hard working.”

Most importantly, both give back prodigiously. Yoder has gone on two mission trips to Haiti with his church. Behrens’ Rams have piggybacked off of Yoder’s friendship with a special needs student to give clinics for similar area kids. “He recognizes what is important in life,” Behrens pointed out. “His family, his religion, his basketball, his friends.”

“When you have success and a platform, I think people look up to that,” Yoder feels. “I’m trying to be a good role model for the younger kids who come to the games and be a leader.”

Curry has volunteered at basketball clinics for inner city students in Philadelphia. “I definitely enjoy it. This year, we had some guys who didn’t have much varsity playing time. I felt it was my job to teach and give little tips,” Curry reflected. “The relationships are so much bigger than basketball. You always want to be remembered as being positive and encouraging.”

Both students will leave their schools the same way – remembered with resumes that transcend their outstanding basketball games.