Univest Featured Athletes (Wk. 2-15-22)

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

Like everyone else, Colleen Davis has her bad days. If you ask those around her, however, they'll tell you that it's difficult to tell when those days are. Because no matter how difficult classes may be, how stressful tests may be, how grueling practices may be, the Upper Moreland girls' swimming team co-captain can always be counted upon to be upbeat and encouraging. "Colleen is a kid who is always positive, who always has a smile on her face," said Golden Bears' coach Michelle Atkinson. "She's always ready to work hard, and even if it's the middle of the season and it's a tough set, she may be gasping for air at the end, but she's still positive, making sure she's the first one giving everyone high fives, making sure everyone feels proud."

For Davis, her sunny attitude comes from keeping both positive and negative experiences in the proper perspective. And she believes her ability to do so stems directly from her faith. "Everyone has bad days, but I look at it and I think, 'Thank God that the hardest thing I had to do was go through a difficult swim practice,'" Davis said. "That's so easy compared to people who are struggling to find food or water or shelter. I know how lucky I am and I'm very thankful for all that God has given me. I do try to be a positive and encouraging person, and I believe that positivity comes from my relationship with Jesus. Because of my relationship with Him and how He loves me, I've been told to love and encourage others the same way. I live my life trying to imitate Him and His love for people."

That's an awfully mature outlook on life, and it comes from a wealth of experiences. Davis has participated in numerous mission trips and has had the first-hand opportunity to spend time with those who literally have nothing. She's seen how even the smallest gestures of kindness can make all the difference in the world. Davis has traveled to Tennessee, Vermont and Maine to perform various functions such as running a children's club in a park, spending time with the elderly in a group home and painting trashcans in poor communities. And she will be returning to the Eastern European country of Moldova, where she will work in an orphanage in the unrecognized territory of Transistria. Working with children is a passion for Davis, and having the opportunity to go back and see some of the kids she's worked with in the past is a true delight. With experiences like those, it's easy to see why Davis isn’t grumbling over long, arduous practices. Of course, Davis also knows those practices will eventually pay off. Her hard work has been a key to building a pretty impressive career in the pool for Upper Moreland. A four-year varsity swimmer who specializes in the 100 fly and 200 free and swims on relays as well, the two-year captain recently made her fourth trip to Districts.

"Colleen is one of those kids who has the end goal in mind," Atkinson said. "She's an awesome person to have as a captain on the team. I can't say enough positive things about her."

Davis serves as Vice President of the Class of 2018 Class Council. She is a member of the school's Drama Company and has performed in the spring musicals the past three years. She is also a student manager for the girls' lacrosse team. She is a member of the Spanish Club, the National Honor Society, Key Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which she helped start, along with her older brother, her freshman year.

Davis will be attending Wheaton College where she will swim on the shool's team as she pursues a double major in elementary education and Christian Ministries with a minor in Spanish, but she won't be heading to the Chicago suburbs right away. Davis is taking a gap year and will spend nine months doing mission work in Switzerland, Nepal, Indian and Guatemala with an organization Adventures in Mission.

To read Davis’ complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/colleen-davis-0076150

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete 

In the first half of a second round game against the mightiest team in the league and probably the entire state, Ward Roberts was the best player on the floor by a long shot. Watching Roberts smoothly and confidently drain three-pointer after three-pointer on the road at unbeaten Plymouth Whitemarsh, it was easy to assume that the Bensalem senior had been tearing up opposing defenses his entire life. Quite the contrary, in fact, Roberts is about as late a bloomer as you can be at the high school level, going from the jayvee team his sophomore year to one of Bensalem's best players this year as a senior. Roberts was a football player for much of his youth, never really lacing up his high-tops to shoot hoops unless it was in rec leagues or during pickup games at the playground.

Roberts decided to give basketball a try sophomore year because like some kids at the high school level, he outgrew football, or rather, football outgrew him. Roberts' arrival into the Bensalem program coincided with current head coach Mike McCabe's. He played his entire sophomore year on jayvee, coming off the bench at first before becoming a starter later in the season. When asked his first impressions of Roberts, McCabe offered two words: raw talent. "His speed - you just can't teach that kind of quickness," McCabe said. "When I saw his ability to handle the ball, I was like, 'Wow, that kid's going to be lights out. He just needs to get a little stronger.' He always had a smile on his face, was always ready to learn. He'd always ask me, 'Coach, what do I have to do to get better?' and I told him that he had a ton of talent, but it was about the amount of work he was willing to put in. Once Ward fell in love with basketball, the sky was the limit for him. He put in the time and effort, and once he did, you can see he got better and better each year."

Bensalem recently earned a coveted spot in the state tournament. The fact that he is even in this position has Roberts feeling very grateful.  He hails from North Philadelphia but moved to Bensalem to live with his uncle and go to school there. Roberts struggled with his academics early on and made some mistakes, but he and McCabe both said Roberts learned from them and has come so far as both a basketball player and a person. “He’s a great person, a great kid,” McCabe said. “We all make mistakes along the way, and he’s learned a lot from some of the ones he made early on. He’s always told me he wants to go to college and play basketball, and he’s got the tools. He just has to keep working. The academics were a struggle early on, but he’s really come a long way there.”

Roberts isn't sure where he might attend school in the fall, but he said it was important for him to take that step. He would like to study business.

To read Roberts’ complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/ward-roberts-0076161