Univest Featured Athletes (Wk. 3-1-18)

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

Kaelin Mealey makes no mention of coaching when she talks about her future plans, although she thoroughly enjoyed her two-year stint assisting with an AAU basketball team of fifth and sixth grade girls. But if, by chance, the Council Rock North senior has even the slightest interest in going back to the sidelines when her playing days are over, she won’t have to look hard to find a home. “I hope four years from now she’s sitting next to me as an assistant,” coach Lou Palkovics said. After a brief pause, the Rock North coach amended his statement. “Either four years from now I’d love to see her sitting as an assistant next to me or working for NASA,” Palkovics said. Mealey doesn’t mention NASA as a career choice, but academics are definitely a top priority. In fact, her penchant for burying her head in her books during bus rides to and from games has earned her the nickname ‘Mom.’

“She keeps everyone in line,” Palkovics said. “She’s so diligent, studying on the bus, studying in the stands. She’s always staying on top of her grades. At practice, she’s making sure when we split up and do individual work and everybody is doing their jobs. If I’ll look over and see someone goofing off, I’ll say, ‘Do your job, mom.’ She’s a great kid.” Mealey is one of those players coaches love having on their team, and she doesn’t have the slightest issue with the fact that she splits starts with Olivia Boyle, starting every other game. Mealey isn’t a headliner, but she has made important contributions both on and off the court for an Indian squad that captured a share of the SOL National crown and earned a state berth.

Mealey, according to Palkovics, is beloved by her teammates, and it’s pretty much the same story on the volleyball team where coach Mike Adams regularly touched base with Mealey to find out the mental state of the team. “Kaelin was a senior leader on the team with both high positive energy and super consistent, smart playing on the court,” Adams said. “She was the perfect role model for our younger players as the ideal student-athlete, being successful in the classroom, on the court and in so many other facets of life. Kaelin is the kind of person that raises the level of your entire program just by being part of it.”

Mealey has not decided on a college but has been accepted into Villanova University’s honors college. She plans to study pre-law. Off the court, Mealey is the president of the Latin Honor Society and co-chair for the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society. She is also involved in the National Honor Society and has not taken the easy road in her final year of his school. Her course load includes four AP classes and the highest level of Latin offered.

To read Mealey’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/kaelin-mealey-0076290

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete

After graduation gutted the Pennsbury basketball following the 2016-17 season, coach Bill Coleman wasn’t sure what to expect heading into this season. What the Falcons’ head coach did know was that he was lacking your traditional basketball players, replaced by a bunch of kids who simply played basketball. They were scrappy, they were tough, and they worked their butts off, but how far would those intangibles take the team? Enter Jake Martell, who was happy to provide some answers to that question. The Pennsbury senior is perhaps more known for his talents on the baseball diamond than the hardwood, which is understandable considering the baseball program won league, district and state titles last season. But Martell is also a kid who plays basketball, and that was more than enough for the Pennsbury program to retain respectability.

Coleman said that Martell stands 5-8 “on a good day.” But the coach also seems to buy into the cliché it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog, and Martell epitomized that work ethic to an inexperienced team that sorely needed it. “The writers were hating on us, I think they picked on us to finish fifth in the SOL (National Conference),” Martell said. “I knew we were going to be good eventually, but there was no hype.” When all was said and done, Pennsbury finished second in the conference. It was good enough for a postseason berth in the district tournament. “At the beginning of the year, our kids had no idea what to expect and what it took to be successful at our level,” Coleman said. “They had no varsity experience, and so it took the seniors we did have time to really figure it out. Honestly, Jake’s a baseball player. He plays basketball, but it’s not his true focus. What sets him apart is not his skill, but his toughness, his heart. When you have a kid willing to dive on the floor for every loose ball and do every little thing possible to win a game, it sets you apart. What the other guys took from Jake was his effort and toughness. When he wasn’t on the floor, you could see a drop off. Here’s a kid who will run through a wall for everyone on the team to the point where they say, ‘Okay, let’s all do it.’ He threw everything he had into every game, and it was a lot of fun to watch as the year progressed.”

Martell plans to attend Gwynedd Mercy but is undecided on a major. Coleman, for one, has no doubt he will excel. “Based upon who he is, his level of commitment and toughness in everything he does, he will be successful,” Coleman said. “I hope his teammates who will be coming back next season saw what it took for him to get to where he did this year.”

To read Martell’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/jake-martell-0076289