Univest Featured Athletes (Wk. 11-10-16)

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 (Week of Nov. 10, 2016)

When Kylie Shalala first walked through the doors at Plymouth Whitemarsh, there was no flying under the radar. Her older brother, Dan, had a reputation as a star runner that preceded her. “My brother was a senior when I was a freshman,” she recalled. “I was ‘Dan Shalala’s little sister.’” Nonetheless, Shalala blocked out the noise enough to set herself on the path to making her own name for herself. “For a freshman, I had a decent year,” said Shalala, who runs cross country in the fall and then distance events in the winter and spring. Encouraged by her sophomore season and buoyed by parents and grandparents cheering her on, Shalala was intent on making her mark as a junior when fate dealt her a bad hand. Or foot.

Because she had tendinitis in her foot, she looked to other forms of training, such as bike riding. “I was trying not to run in the summer every day,” she said. “I was biking with my mom. I came home and I was dehydrated and had an empty stomach. I stood up, saw all black and hit my head on the kitchen counter.” The result? A concussion, which took a full month to recover from. Then came the next one. “It’s really kind of embarrassing,” she said. “I walked into the bedroom door. This time it was a month and a half.” Shalala was not only missing out on the cross country and winter track seasons, but the standout student with a 4.58 weighted GPA had to alter her academic game plan.

The good news for Shalala is that she came back strong as a senior, enjoying a solid cross country season as a captain. “Kylie was such easy runner to coach and an excellent captain and role model to the team,” coach Kim Diamond said. “Recovering from an injury that had her out the entire last season, she felt like she had a lot to prove, and she did, running first team all-conference and finishing fifth in the league.”

Dan Shalala went on to Drexel University, which does not have varsity track, so he runs on the club team. Kylie is weighing her next-level options. Her application will include a litany of activities that speak of her character and interests – National Honor Society, Anti-Defamation League, Model U.N., Spanish U.N., Steering Committee and Student Council. Shalala, who plans to continue her running career at the collegiate level, has the wisdom to see the bigger picture because of her clear-cut career aspirations. She wants to major in International Relations and help make the world a better place. She accompanied her mother, a nurse, this past summer on a medical mission with Surgicorps International to Guatemala where an orphanage with children with disabilities left a lasting impression. She hopes to one day set an orphanage for disabled children and for those whose families can’t provide for them.

To read Shalala’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/kylie-shalala-0066191

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete (Week of Nov. 10, 2016)

Max Weinberg might want to consider a future in law. The Upper Dublin senior certainly proved at a young age that he possesses the power of persuasion. Consider only the impact his persuasion letter written as a fourth grade assignment had on his mother and – ultimately – his high school experience. “I’ve played baseball pretty much my whole life, and I begged my mother to play football,” Weinberg said. “She just didn’t want me to play. In school, we had to write a persuasive letter, and my persuasive letter was to play football. From then on I played football, and now I think my mother loves it just as much as I do.” Weinberg was a two-way player for a Flying Cardinal squad that captured a share of the SOL American Conference title. A starter on both the offensive and defensive lines, Weinberg – who gained valuable experience as the sixth lineman on last year’s District One 4A championship squad – is a leader up front. “He’s really become a coach on the field for us,” coach Bret Stover said. “He gets things really quickly, and he helps bring everybody along with him. He’s one of our communicators on the front line, and he’s done a real nice job for us this year.”

Last year’s practices provided learning experiences for Weinberg – who regularly found himself lined up opposite first team all-league lineman Isaiah Henrich. “It always helps to go up against guys like Isaiah, Henry (Winebrake), Kane O’Connor and Jack (Rapine) because they were some of the best to ever play at Upper Dublin,” he said. “They were all hard workers, they all listened to our coaches, they all spent hours in the weight room, and we just carried on that tradition of working hard and just doing the right things.”

Baseball has been part of Weinberg’s life for as long as he can remember, and last year, he saw varsity playing time for an Upper Dublin squad that captured the SOL American Conference title. He also earned the respect of his coach. “Max is really a fantastic kid who just loves to play,” coach Ed Wall said. “After his sophomore year, he learned the importance of hard work. He dedicated himself to become a better player for the football and baseball teams. Last season, Max worked his way from a role player to a varsity starter and played catcher, third base and first base. Wherever Max plays this spring, he’ll be ready with a smile.”

While Weinberg was a major contributor to the success of this year’s football team, the senior lineman’s contributions didn’t end on the gridiron. “He’s helping kids off the field in study hall, tutoring a couple of our guys,” Stover said. “That’s the kind of kid he is.” For Weinberg – an excellent student who takes honors and AP classes, it’s just another way to help his team. “Once they’re doing poorly in a subject for a couple of weeks, they go on academic probation, and they’re not allowed to play,” he said. “So I found a time where we could meet up and get them on the right track, so we could keep them on the field.”

Weinberg plans to major in engineering and lists the University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech as his top schools. A member of Upper Dublin’s student government, Weinberg wouldn’t have wanted to miss a minute of his high school athletic experience. “It’s added more than I could ever imagine,” he said. “Sports teach you so many lessons you wouldn’t learn without them, just working as a team and coming together for a common goal.”

To read Weinberg’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/max-weinberg-0066185