Univest Featured Athletes (Wk 9-26-18)

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 for week of Sept. 26, 2018

Alex DeCecco refers to Karley Alling as the heart and soul, the captain and emotional leader of the North Penn girls’ tennis program, a role she embraced and ran with ever since freshman year. In most cases, this would sound like standard coach speak, but DeCecco had a specific story to validate his claims. Alling, DeCecco recalled, had a very successful sophomore season as one of the team’s singles players, helping to lead the program to its first league title in 23 years. Coming into her junior campaign, Alling had her sights set on the number one singles slot. Not only did she miss the mark, she was relegated to doubles in tryouts.

Instead of kicking and screaming or stomping her feet while threatening to quit, DeCecco said Alling had a different approach that solidified her impact on the program. She accepted the demotion because it was best for her team. Months later, Alling and her doubles partner responded by going undefeated and placing third at districts. “When something like that happens, you wonder how they’ll handle it,” DeCecco said. “She handled it the best way possible, turning a negative into a positive. I’m not sure of another kid who could have handled it so maturely.” For her part, Alling admitted she was none too happy. But what would causing a ruckus have accomplished? How would it help her team? How would it help her? “I was really upset, and I wanted to quit,” Alling said. “I never got into doubles; I can play it, but it’s not my first choice.
“Then, when I had to go out there later that day, I saw how incredibly fun doubles could be. Not as intense, easier to relax – for me, that was a good thing because I can get a little frustrated out there. I was able to focus on just having fun, and from that, I ended up getting to go to districts, which was such a great experience.”

Now a senior and playing singles once again as North Penn’s No. 3 player, Alling has posted a 9-4 individual mark while North Penn has gone 12-2 as a team and won its second Continental Conference crown in three years. Not a bad feat for Alling, who has been playing the sport most of her life. In addition to playing tennis for North Penn, Alling also is involved with an organization called Touch of Tennis, where she helps teach special needs athletes 10 years and younger the game of tennis. It was while doing this that Alling, a budding artist, decided she wanted to be an art teacher when she finishes college. This year she enrolled in a career study program at North Penn where she goes to an elementary school every day and teaches art to the students. She would like to play tennis at a school with a good art program. DeCecco maintains that Alling playing collegiate tennis is indicative how far she’s come in the past four years. “She worked her butt off to become a really good tennis player,” DeCecco said. “To be able to have a sport she can play in college is a big thing for her, given where she came from.”

To read Alling’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/karley-alling-0080413

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete for week of Sept. 26, 2018

Thomas Butler has a plan. A plan that makes a whole lot of sense. One of the SOL’s elite golfers, the Souderton senior could have made golf his top priority when choosing a college. Butler hasn’t done that, aspiring instead to attend a Division III school where academics – mechanical engineering more specifically – will be his number one goal. Butler’s list of potential schools is a short but impressive one and includes Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Stevens Institute of Technology. “I’m going D-III because I don’t want to miss school, and I want to be around people that are kind of like me,” he said. “I’m going to be surrounded by people with the same workload and that are the same academic level that want to work hard and know they can’t miss a class and coach knows I can’t miss a class whereas a D-I school is all about the workout and practice. I don’t think that would work for me because in the end, I’m not going pro. I’m going to school.” Will he play golf? Yes, more than likely, but that is a secondary consideration. “My goal is to go to school, get my degree, make my money and play golf,” Butler said. “I’m looking for the future. I’m looking to play golf after. I’m definitely planning on playing golf for a long, long time.”

That comes as no surprise to his coach. “He’s very hard working, very goal oriented and diligent,” Souderton coach Fred Cicacci said. “He’s a quiet fellow, kind of leads by example, but the kids know that he’s willing to help them. I consult with him, and he approaches me with some thoughts about what’s best for the team.”

Butler has been part of Souderton’s varsity since he was a freshman and became an immediate contributor, although for most of his life golf took a backseat to baseball. But the summer after his freshman year Butler injured his elbow while pitching for his Indian Valley Storm squad. A visit to the doctor was inconclusive, and Butler opted to walk away from baseball and focus on golf. The summer prior to his junior year he began working with two-time Philadelphia Section PGA Teacher of the Year Bob Kramer at Indian Valley Country Club. Kramer passed away suddenly last May. “He was very good,” Butler said. “He took my game to a whole another level in a really short time, so I was really thankful for that.” 

In each of the last three years, Butle has advanced to districts. This past August, he won the Montco Junior Amateur. “We’ve never had captains, but if we did, he’d be the one,” Cicacci said. “He’s a team player. He’s not someone who would put himself above other. He expects a lot of himself. He’s a real good kid.” Butler also excels in the classroom (he’s taking three AP classes), and he’s a member of the school’s Athletic Leadership Council.

To read Butler’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/thomas-butler-0080400