Univest Featured Athletes (Wk 3-30-17)

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 March 30, 2016)

Meghan Kuypers had her future plans neatly in place. The Central Bucks South senior – who gave up soccer in favor of basketball after her sophomore season – would use her junior year of AAU basketball to get looks from college coaches. The only question that remained was where she’d continue her basketball career after high school. The script didn’t exactly go as planned. Kuypers remembers all too well the night last spring that altered the course of her basketball future. Although she didn’t know it at the time. “We went from open gym for South to AAU practice,” Kuypers said. “I practiced at open gym and I was fine. Right when I got to AAU, I started running, and I don’t remember what I did, but I couldn’t bend my knee. I walked off, and my knee was really swollen.”

In July, Kuypers had surgery to smooth out the cartilage in her knee, and after a summer of rehab, she assumed she’d be ready to go for her AAU team’s final showcase tournament of the season in September. “I got to the tournament, and I couldn’t even play the first game,” she said. “They said it was supposed to be fast (recovery), but it wasn’t, so I was like, ‘Clearly, something’s wrong.” A doctor’s visit in early December confirmed that Kuypers had a tear in her meniscus. Opting to forgo surgery in order to play her final basketball season, Kuypers – who played in perpetual pain - made it through an entire season for a Titan squad that advanced to the second round of the state tournament. “After every game, I thought, ‘Is this my last game?’ But I couldn’t make it my last game,” she said. Earlier this week, when Kuypers had surgery to repair her torn meniscus, it was discovered she also had a fracture in her knee. “She’s just an amazing kid,” South coach Beth Mattern said. “Her personality and what she brings to the table – she’s so fun to have around, to be around and to coach. She’s really competitive, and this season meant a lot to her. We were successful last year, but trying to replicate that and having goals – for it to never pan out the way she wanted was definitely hard for her, but I think she’s also grateful that she was able to be on the court and that she did get to play. Although it wasn’t the way she wanted it, she at least was a participant and definitely contributed to the team.”

An honors student, Kuypers, who is also involved in Titans Connect and the school’s Black and Blue Night, has her sights set on one day becoming an elementary school teacher. She will major in elementary education at Towson University and has not ruled out the possibility of returning to the basketball court at the club level.

To read Kuypers’ complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/meghan-kuypers-0068955

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete (Week of March 30, 2016)

Tommy Edwards knows how to make an entrance…without even saying a word. The Neshaminy volleyball team’s senior tri-captain showed up an hour late to a recent 8 a.m. Saturday practice. He could have come loaded with excuses. My phone died. My alarm didn’t go off. My car wouldn’t start. But when Edwards finally arrived to practice, he didn’t offer up reasons for his tardiness. He didn’t say anything at all. He just started running. “When Tommy got there, he just came in, put his stuff down and started to run 25 suicide sprints,” said Neshaminy coach Pat Klingerman. Normally, arriving late to practice results in the entire team running extra sprints or doing extra sit-ups or pull-ups. Edwards was not willing to let the team suffer for his mistake, so he ran sprints for everyone else on the team. “I didn’t want the rest of the guys running for something that was my fault,” Edwards said. “I’m supposed to be a leader, and being late sets a bad example. I showed up and I ran dead sprints the whole time.”

And in the process, Edwards made an unmistakable statement to the rest of the team. Take responsibility for your mistakes, make no excuses, and if you do something detrimental to the team, do whatever you can to make things right. His message has certainly been received. “The younger guys definitely look up to him and see what he does and try to follow suit,” Klingerman said. “He brings up that level of accountability. Especially with underclassmen, they see him as a senior captain, they see what he does, and they know, you try not to make mistakes, but if they do, you better own up to it.”

Going out on a positive note is important for Edwards because he’s well aware of how easily a season can be taken away. As a junior, Edwards could do little more than cheer on his teammates from the bench as he recovered from surgery to a shoulder he had dislocated twice. Seven months after the surgery – in September 2016 – Edwards was cleared to return to his normal physical routine. “It’s been a rough road, but I’m looking forward to this season,” he said. “I hope I can really be a key player on this team, both on the court and as a captain. I just want to be a guy the team can count on whether it’s on the court or in practice, but I really just want my team to go out there and have fun no matter what the outcome and still work as hard as we can, no matter what.” Edwards is undecided on a college but plans to pursue a degree in computing and security technology.

To read Edwards’ compete profile, please click on the following link: