THE KID'S first name is Sirea, but during football season, it ought to be Surreal.
After all, he's the only member of Horace Furness High's multischool football team who attends World Communications Charter. Yup, the only one.
"We did have another kid who was going to play," Sirea Boone said. "He got all his permissions, but then he never came out to put on the pads.
"My classmates think it's cool that I'm out here. They always ask me how things are going, and how I played in the games. They support me. They just don't want to be out here. It seems like the only thing guys in my school are into is basketball. They're scared of football. It's too physical."
The 6-2, 250-pound Boone, a senior, excels as a two-way tackle for Furness. And yesterday, as likely would have been expected considering the conditions (medium wind and rain, somewhat muddy playing surface), he made most of his larger contributions on defense as the visiting Falcons bested Olney, 14-0, to seize first place (3-0) in Public AAAA Silver by a half-game over Samuel Fels (2-0). Olney is 3-1.
In the first half, which finished 6-0 thanks to Maurice Harris' 40-yard, all-alone, first-quarter bomb to Kevin "Leonard Weaver Tickets" Hayes, Boone thrice involved himself in tackles that went for losses.
On only the third play of the third quarter, he recovered a bobbled snap by Olney's do-everything back, Jaron "Snoop" Turner.
Sharif Smith powered for gains of 6, 5 and 6 yards, then Harris followed his grunts across the goal line from the 2.
"When [Turner] first fumbled, my teammate, Dontay Holder, fell on it," Boone said. "But he lost it and when I saw that, my eyes just focused. I drove forward and made a dive for the ball.
"A day like this . . . When I first saw the sloppy field, I was like, 'Wow.' But that's football, so you just have to do what you can. I took it on as another challenge."
As detailed in yesterday's Daily News, Furness' core group of 21 players consists of five from Furness, nine from Academy at Palumbo (where coach Anthony Pastore works as a school district police officer), three each from Franklin Learning Center and Philadelphia Electrical Charter, and good, ol' Sirea Boone from WCC.
He's not exactly a grizzled veteran. This is only his second year of organized football, and he credits his father, Sirea, a spectator yesterday, for exploring his options and making the ultimate connection with Furness.
For this one, for the first time, the School District provided one bus apiece from Furness, Palumbo and FLC. The Palumbo bus, with Boone among the passengers, arrived maybe 20 minutes after the others.
"I got out of class at 12:30 and walked over [a half-dozen blocks] to Palumbo," Boone said. "I always take my equipment home and bring it with me to World Comm each morning. Once I get to Palumbo, I'm just concentrating on getting mentally and physically ready for the game."
Though Boone, who lives near 27th and Dickinson in South Philly, boasts a 3.0 GPA and hopes to attend Penn State, long played street/playground football, he never thought about trying out for a high school team until his junior year.
"I was always iffy if I could do real football or not," he said. "But as time went on, I thought this was something that could be a good fit for me."
As for the "iffy" comment . . . Did Boone not think he was good enough? Or tough enough?
"Both," he said, flashing a filled-with-braces smile. "I had sports downfalls when I was younger. Too big and slow. But I learned. If you keep working at it, things will get better."
Furness scored its final points on a safety with 3:30 left, when Hayes and Lewis Martinez combined to sack Adonis Fountain, the backup quarterback. The ball barely squirted over the back line of the end zone before Furness could make the recovery.
Pastore was quite excited after the clock hit 0:00. Right before he spoke with his players, he screamed and used both hands to pump the game ball upward one, two, three times, and when he finished his speech, he bellowed, "Falcons on 3 as loud as you ever did it!!!"
The players followed orders. "One, 2, 3 . . . Falcons!!"