Univest Featured Athletes (Wk. 12-6-17)

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 Dec. 6, 2017)

As head coach of the North Penn swim programs and assistant coach for the water polo teams, Jeff Faikish has seen the best of Maddy Koerper over the last four years. Ask Faikish what impresses him the most about Koerper, and he won’t point to her blistering shot, her first team all-state water polo status or her intelligence in the pool. Before all of that, he’ll talk about Koerper’s character. “I’m a father of three kids, and al of my kids absolutely love her,” Faikish said. “There couldn’t be a better role model than Maddy, and that’s because of who she is outside of the pool, not because of her ability in the pool. My kids don’t love her because of her intensity or her shot, they love her because of the kind of person she is. Maddy has such a huge heart. She cares about every kid on this team, she cares about giving back to the community. She has wonderful qualities that are going to help her be successful no matter what she does. She has intensity and determination in the pool, focus and drive in the classroom, and heart and emotion to be someone important in her community.”

But while Faikish is quick to heap praise on Koerper, you won’t hear the senior hole set brag about her accomplishments – of which there are many. “At any time, Maddy can take over a game,” said water polo coach Jason Grubb. “She has a great shot on the outside, and she’s a bruiser in the middle of the pool. She’s a great kid.” For Koerper, who played a key role in the Knights’ run to the program’s fourth consecutive state title, stepping up both in the pool and as a leader was imperative after the team put its trust in her to be a captain this season. That meant providing her teammates with an example to follow in the pool – and a big part of that was in honing her intensity and using it the right way.

While the water polo season may have ended, Koerper is by no means done in the pool for North Penn. She’s now focused on the upcoming swim season. Koerper swims the 100 back and 50 free in what will be her last competitive swim season. In the rare times that Koerper is on dry land, she keeps herself busy. She’s carrying several AP and Honors classes this year and is participating in career study at a local elementary school. She spends many hours volunteering both through North Penn’s Key Cub and via her church.

Next year, Koerper will head to La Salle University where she plans to pursue a degree in education and will lend her considerable talents to a brand new Explorers’ water polo team. “As a newer program, they’re going to be fortunate to have someone like Maddy who has the ability to work with the kids, to help the kids and to make the team better,” Faikish said. “North Penn is going to be losing someone who brings calculated, intelligent intensity and leadership skills both in the locker room and in the pool. La Salle is gaining someone with drive and determination and a set of goals that I think is going to help that program get to a higher level.”

To read Koerper’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/maddy-koerper-0074452


Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete (Week of Dec. 6, 2017)

Ben Bunch has never been the fastest runner or strongest athlete. By his own admission, he’s not the most naturally gifted student either. That isn’t to say Bunch isn’t skilled in the classroom or as a member of Central Bucks West’s cross country indoor and outdoor track teams. Far from it, in fact. He just recognizes his own limitations and is willing to compensate for where he may feel deficient by exhaustively working at his many crafts. Bunch attacks everything he does with vigor, zeal and determination, completely maximizing his biggest strength: his ability and willingness to outwork you. He’s the last kid to ever try to skate by on talent alone because he knew if he did he would only be shortchanging his own potential.

“The way I was raised, my parents just always instilled in me that there was someone better than me out there, so I had to put in 100 percent effort to the things I cared about,” Bunch said. Bunch was one of seven varsity runners on West’s cross country team and consistently scored, helping the Bucks go undefeated in league play in all of his three seasons. On top of Bunch’s speed, coach Greg Wetzel said his runner possesses a unique kind of leadership ability. “Ben is an outstanding communicator,” the Bucks’ coach said. “He is very fast, but he’s also always looking to make sure everyone is included. Cross country is such a hard sport if you don’t feel part of the team. It can get lonely. There’s a steep learning curve when you get started, and he communicates what he’s learned and how to do things the right way to the underclassmen. He’s someone who is leaving the program as a senior better than he found it as a sophomore. He makes it a priority to make everyone feel part of it. He celebrates the successes of all of his teammates even if they are small ones.” During winter track, the 3K run is Bunch’s specialty, a race in which he currently ranks seventh in the state.

To classify Bunch as just an athlete would be selling him short. He’s his class treasurer at West. Bunch is also a member of the National Honor Society. He also volunteers at A Woman’s Place in Doylestown where he often spends time babysitting kids who he says “may not have grown up in the best family environment.” Since he considers himself one of the lucky ones in that respect, Bunch find it important to pay it forward.

Bunch knows he wants to run in college and that he wants to study business, in part because his parents are small business owners and also because there are many different routes you can take in business. “He will be successful because he knows hard work matters,” Wetzel said. “He understands hard work and grit are more important than just getting by on talent alone. When the going gets tough, Ben doesn’t back down. As a great communicator, he has built strong relationships with people around him and can lean on them when life does get tough. He digs in on everything and is not content to be a bystander.”

To read Bunch’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/ben-bunch-0074464