Univest Featured Athletes (Wk 12-8-16)

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 Dec. 8, 2016)

Maggie Daeche was born to play defense. So effective was the Neshaminy center back that she was named the SOL National Conference Player of the Year and also earned PSCA All-State recognition despite playing a position that is rarely in the spotlight. Daeche was the undeniable heart and soul of a Redskins’ squad that captured the District One AAAA title. “Maggie set the bar very high, so when she goes out for any game – whether it’s the district championship or a regular league game, she’s always focused,” coach Chelsea Lovelace said. “She knows what she has to do, she knows what her teammates have to do, and she’s going to make sure we all get it done. She never gives less than 100 percent whenever she steps on the field. She’s very technical, which you don’t really find in a center back. Maggie can receive the ball with a great first touch and make a pass that goes right to someone’s feet, which you usually don’t find in that position.”

While there’s no questioning Daeche’s immense talent, it’s the intangibles that set the three-year captain apart. “Her energy is contagious,” Lovelace said. “Even if we’re down by a goal or not playing our best, she doesn’t crawl into a shell. She’s still motivating, she still has faith in her teammates, and she leads by example. Yes, she is good, but she also works very hard, and when people see her doing that – say we’re in a funk in a game and we cannot get it together. We just need that one person to bring us back up an get us re-energized – it’s always Maggie.”

Family is a priority for Daeche, whose early soccer days were spent playing under her father’s tutelage. Daeche’s family ties were a significant part of her high school soccer experience. As a freshman, she was a starter in the defensive backfield for a team that included her cousin – Stephanie Donahue – and went on to capture the state title. She capped a stellar career with a district title and shared this with another cousin, freshman Kristin Curley. “It was such an incredible experience to be part of a team that was such a family to me,” Daeche said. ‘I know that in 10 years if I called any of the girls that I played with for any of the four years, they would answer the phone and just be there for me for anything. It’s so awesome.”

Next year, Daeche will take her talents to Drexel University, a school that provides the perfect mix of academics and athletics for the honors student who is a member of the National Honor Society. She plans to purse a career in physical therapy.

To read Daeche’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/maggie-daeche-0066500

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete (Week of Dec. 8, 2016)

When Kyle Yoder – all 6 feet 2 inches of him – walks through the Pennridge hallways, he is hard to miss. He is also hard to reach as he will often be seen with earbuds in his ears. While he is fond of the pop music of the time, it is not uncommon for no music to be playing. The earbuds are a bit of a defense mechanism for the basketball power forward and baseball third baseman, who elects – on occasion – to wear them to avoid unnecessary small talk. If that sounds like he is aloof or that he is trying to live in his own world, that’s just not how it is. While playing two sports and despite earbuds, Yoder is active in the school community. He is a member of the National Honor Society, which entails community service, and he and two friends from the baseball team – Kolby Rush and Andrew Fantaskey – won a Twitter vote to lead the P-Block student section this past football season.

But it goes beyond that for Yoder, who is active in his church youth group and willingly takes on the oft-difficult challenge of working with children with disabilities and spends free time in the school’s Life Skills Center with challenged students. “I think he has a real appreciation for what he does have, as compared to what some others don’t,” Pennridge basketball coach Dean Behrens said. “He sees the big picture, and he has been a pleasure to coach. He’s so intense. I wish every kid was like him.” Joining Yoder on the basketball team this winter is his younger brother, Sean, a sophomore starter at point guard.

Yoder has seen more of the world – the real world – than the vast majority of his classmates. That may be why the trivialities of high school drama might not be on his minute-to-minute radar. Just this past summer, while American Legion baseball morphed into summer basketball, he joined his church group on a weeklong mission trip to Haiti. “It was an amazing experience,” said the aspiring engineer with a 4.3 weighted GPA. “It was a totally different way of life. It just made me feel so grateful for what I have. They are impoverished and yet they are still always smiling and so hard working.” A difficult part of the mission was not being in Haiti and witnessing the lifestyle, but leaving. “We landed in Kennedy airport, and we came back through New York City,” Yoder said. “You look and see how nice of a city it is and think about how they live as compared to Haiti. It was a tough transition.”

Yoder – the starting third baseman and cleanup hitter for the district champion Rams baseball squad last spring – is deciding between Pitt, Penn State, Lehigh, Lafayette, Virginia Tech or Messiah College.

To read Yoder’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/kyle-yoder-0066509