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 May 4, 2016)
When your chosen sport is swimming, you tend to become naturally obsessed with time. The focus, from practice to practice and meet to meet, is gearing up to better your times until you reach your zenith by season’s end. For Erin O’Neill, who has been in the water so much of her life that she may qualify as a mermaid from Atlantis as much as a standout student-athlete from North Penn’s storied swim program, that focus on the importance of time has extended outside of the pool. When she recently decided to continue her career at St. Francis University for both swimming and water polo, joining Maiden teammate Aimee Baur, O’Neill knew it would be a challenge to be a two-sport collegiate athlete while handling a demanding major like applied mathematics. But she sees it as a challenge she can handle as well as she does when asked the shadow the opposition’s best player on the state champion water polo team.
The typical day for O’Neill follows a regiment where there is little wasted movement, let alone time. “It’s morning practice, go to school, then practice again, dinner, homework, in bed by 10 – and then get up and do it all over again,” she said. While the water polo and swimming seasons ended – both with the Maidens collecting state titles with O’Neill as captain – she is still trying to keep up her regiment. “Erin is one of the most dedicated athletes we have had come through our aquatics program,” said water polo coach Katie Grunmeier. Added swimming coach Matt Weiser, “Erin is an all-around awesome kid. She’s a girl who leads by example in everything she does.”
In water polo, O’Neill was one of the most celebrated players in the state. “Erin was an offensive threat in any position,” said Grunmeier. “I constantly matched Erin up against the other team’s best player, and she successfully shut every player down.” O’Neill sees herself as more of a leader by example – a self-label affirmed by both coaches. “Her contributions as a leader and teammate will be sorely missed,” Weiser said, pointing out that O’Neill was the only swimmer to make states all four years of her career. “Erin truly embodies what North Penn swimming stands for. She bleeds blue and a lot of our success this year can be attributed to her contributions and her leadership.”
To read O’Neill’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/erin-oneill-0062052
Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete (Week of May 4, 2016)
The three-sport athlete has basically gone the way of rotary phones, CDs and postcards. Playing two sports - and playing them well - can qualify as a full plate for scholastic athletes these days, especially given the offseason demands that weren't present back in the day. The two-sport payoff comes, win or lose, in the joy and virtuous life experience of playing for your school. Playing a second sport doesn't derail or distract an athlete from a scholarship in the preferred sport. Playing a second sport may even enhance the ability and potential. And in that context, we give you Council Rock South senior Brendan Patterson, a football and lacrosse star. Patterson earned a lacrosse scholarship to Binghamton University. “My dad always said, ‘You want to be more than just a one-sport athlete; it’ll help you in every aspect of any sport,’” Brendan said. “Football really gave me an edge in lacrosse with the discipline, physicality, getting stronger and faster.”
Patterson has been a major impact player in both sports at CR South. He’s a big reason the Golden Hawks clinched the program’s first SOL National Conference title in lacrosse. “He’s a real game-changer,” coach Mike Murray says. “He gives us a huge advantage. He settles down our whole team, and he’s definitely one of the better athletes on our team. He can really do it all. He leads by example. He’s laser-focused. He’s always fired up. He has really good determination and good self-drive.” Patterson is a dominant faceoff man, and learning the finer points of the faceoff marked the turning point of his young career. At the beginning of his junior year while competing in a Philly Showcase, Patterson met his faceoff coach, John Bodnar.
While lacrosse is Patterson’s first love, football is a close second. What Patterson did for coach Vince Bedesem’s CR South football program the past two seasons in particular won’t be forgotten. As a senior, Patterson rushed for 1,134 yards (7.3 yards per carry) and 15 touchdowns. “He’s just a tremendous kid, somebody that led by example,” Bedesem said. “He’d outwork everybody, come early, stay late, and he’s such a coachable kid.”
Patterson played two sports, ended up with terrific college options and made the right moves. And now, Brendan adds, “I can’t wait for the next chapter.”
To read Patterson’s compete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/brendan-patterson-0062055