Univest Featrued Athletes (Wk. 1-10-18)

SuburbanOneSports.com recognizes a male and female featured athlete each week. The awards, sponsored by Univest, are given to seniors of good character who are students in good standing that have made significant contributions to their teams. Selections are based on nominations received from coaches, athletic directors and administrators.

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Female Athlete

Taylor Mason leaves behind quite a legacy at Central Bucks West. During her stint as a four-year starter for the field hockey team, Mason was a key contributor to a squad that won 66 games, captured the SOL Continental Conference title two years ago and last year was the District One 3A runner-up. Individually, Mason is a two-time first team PFHCA All-State selection and this year was named third team NFHCA All-American after a stellar season that saw her contribute 27 goals and 18 assists (72 points). She has signed a letter of intent to continue her hockey career at perennial power Maryland, which has eight national titles to its credit. Mason reached the pinnacle of her sport last year when she was named to the prestigious U-17 US National team and travelled to Ireland where the team won all of its games and did not allow a goal.

“That was hands down one of the best experiences I have ever had,” Mason said. “All the girls and the whole experience, the training and the travel – it was an amazing experience. The biggest aha moment for me was when we were standing on the field and we’re doing the walkout, and we’re all lining up and they play your national anthem. You’re just standing there taking it all in. there’s this backdrop of mountains, all your fans, and you’re realizing, ‘Oh my gosh, this is it. This is the dream in a nutshell, and I’m living it.’” While Mason’s resume is impressive, the senior standout’s true legacy might well be her response when she did not earn a spot on this year’s national squad. Although initially devastated, Mason – in a testament to her character – turned her disappointment into firm resolve.

“At first, I was just emotional and upset,” she said. “At this point, I’m like, ‘You know what – next year is my year, for sure. I just switched field hockey clubs (to WC Eagles), and I’m playing with a bunch of girls that are currently on the team. I’m no longer at a point where I’m disappointed as much. Next year I’m going to go for it and put it all out there.” Mason’s response does not surprise her high school coach. “That’s how she’s gotten to this point in her career,” coach Courtney Lepping said. “There were times when something might have stopped her in her tracks for a second or it might have made her rethink things, but she always keeps going for it. She keeps trying to find the next bar to hit. She’s always worked so hard and kept reaching for the next level.”

Mason is undecided on a major but leaning towards communications or journalism. She’d like to continue playing hockey as long as she can and wouldn’t mind one day coaching. “Taylor was all about the team working to get the team better but also devoted to her love of the sport and never stopping,” Lepping said. “She’s a kid that wants to go out there and say, ‘I gave everything I could.’”

To read Mason’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/taylor-mason-0075205

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete

All of the 60-some kids Nick Chapman has pinned on the wrestling mat can thank his older brother for all the punishment they’ve endured. Chapman’s meteoric rise into one of the most accomplished wrestlers in recent history at Hatboro-Horsham is more complex than that, mind you, but at the same time, it’s fun to wonder where Chapman’s athletic career had gone had he been, say, an only child. “My brother Matt, he’s two years older than me and he started wrestling before I did,” Chapman said. “He would come home from practice and put me in moves, and I got tired of it pretty fast. Once I got to sixth grade, I went to a practice, and I stuck with it once I saw how much I liked it.” Chapman, a senior at Hatboro-Horsham, has also enjoyed an accomplished career as a football player for the Hatters. In fact, he started playing football before wrestling, and an affinity for both bruising sports soon followed.

Chapman’s crushing hits on the football field earned him nicknames from the referees like ‘Horse’ and ‘Bus,’ the latter of which came in honor of Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis. Chapman was never the flashiest athlete, but he more than makes up for it with the ferocity with which he competes. To hear some of his coaches tell it, it’s almost as if Chapman treats every game or match as if his life was on the line. Football coach Michael Kapusta recalls a game against Plymouth Whitemarsh that saw Chapman leave the game with an injury. The Hatters were winning handily, but Chapman wanted to get back out on the field. “We’re up by three scores, maybe more, but Nick didn’t care,” Kapusta said. “He didn’t want to miss another play, so I put him back in and the injury really didn’t affect him the rest of the game or season. He’s as big and strong as they get at the high school level, but the mental strides he’s made have been awesome. As coaches, it doesn’t matter what we throw at him: not only will he get through it, but he will thrive.”

Trent Mongillo has been coaching Chapman since he was in sixth grade in both wrestling and football. As impressive a physical specimen as Chapman is notwithstanding, the coach says what really separates his pupil from the pack is his mental maturity. “Nick puts in the time,” the Hatters’ first-year coach said. “And I don’t just mean at practice and in competitions. He shows up at community and fundraising events, gets involved with the Special Olympics, just things he understands are bigger than himself.” Chapman is undecided on a college or the sport he will compete in at the collegiate level. He is leaning towards sports management or physical therapy as a career.

To read Chapman’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/nick-chapman-0075204