Univest Featured Athletes (Wk 10-2-17)

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 Oct. 2, 2017)

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Bryn Stek was born to play volleyball. After all, both of Stek’s parents played the sport. Some of her earliest memories are watching her older sister, Taylor, playing in volleyball games and tournaments. And when she turned 10, Stek began her playing career with Infinity Volleyball Academy. Now a senior co-captain for the Upper Dublin volleyball team, Stek continues her love of – and excellence in – the sport of volleyball. “Bryn is the kind of kid who genuinely cares about volleyball, cares about the game and cares about her teammates,” said coach Paul Choi. “Year after year, she only wants what’s best for the team, and you can see it because she’s so invested in the sport. Everything she puts herself through is to make the team better.”

Stek – who dabbled in soccer and basketball at the township and travel levels before deciding in middle school to focus on volleyball – had a stellar junior campaign as the Cardinals’ setter, earning second team All-SOL and honorable mention All-District One honors. She started off her senior season with a major honor as well as she eclipsed the 2,000-assist plateau in a match against Wissahickon. “It really means a lot,” Stek said of the milestone. “When I first started here, it was Paul’s first year as well, so it’s kind of a milestone for both of us. It means a lot to me, and I hope it means a lot to my teammates, too, because they’re all a big part of it.”

As the court general and co-captain, it’s fair to say that as Stek goes, so goes the team, and when Stek is playing well, the rest of the Cardinals elevate their games. “Bryn leads by example, she knows the game inside and out, volleyball is her life,” Choi said. “She has so much energy, but it’s positive energy. The team feeds off her, she has a presence about her. When she’s playing her game, everyone knows that every ball she touches is a good ball.”

As a senior, a co-captain and a leader on the current squad, Stek takes it upon herself to ensure that everyone feels a part of the team. She’s as loud and encouraging in the locker room as she is on the court. “I love cheering for my team,” she said. “I try to be as enthusiastic as I can before the game while the team is warming up, making sure everyone is energetic and staying focused and staying together.”

As for the future, Stek is still weighing her options, looking for a school where she can play volleyball and pursue her expected major of either sports medicine or physical therapy.

To read Stek’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/bryn-stek-0073171

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete (Week of Oct. 2, 2017)

As a youngster who was passionate about football, Tim Shevlin was awestruck by the play of Odell Beckham Jr. The Quakertown senior was hardly alone. Every youngster aspired to emulate the New York Giants wide receiver who wowed the world with his acrobatic catches. “He definitely is a big inspiration in the receiving game just because of the way he plays,” Shevlin said. “When I was younger and when he made that amazing catch that went around the world, I had always been outside with kids that I’m playing football with now, throwing the ball, catching the ball one-handed or just making the crazy sideline catches on the curb outside in front of the house.” Shevlin wasn’t looking to take any of those crazy catches to the playing field. “When I’m in practice and in a game, I always try to go for two-handed catches because it’s most secure,” he said.

That’s not to say Shevlin won’t pull out one of those highlight reel catches when the situation dictates. Coach George Banas recalls a catch his senior wideout made this summer at Souderton during a 7-of-7. “I know it was only 7-on-7, but he made a catch against Saucon Valley, twisting backwards and just stuck it one handed, almost like an Odell Beckham Jr. type catch,” the Panthers’ coach said. “Even the other team was like, ‘Oh my god.’ Everybody clapped.”

This fall, Shevlin is the go-to receiver for a Quakertown squad that shares the top spot in the SOL American Conference standings. “He was really our big deep threat last year and really came onto the scene as a junior,” Banas said. “Coming into this year, we knew we had to complement him on the other side of the ball and try and get him good matchups. I’ll be honest, even if we don’t give him good matchups, we’re still not afraid to take a shot with him. As long as you put the ball in his vicinity, we have a good chance of him coming down with it.”

As good a receiver as Shevlin is – and he’s a good one, listening to Banas tell it, he’s an even better person. “He’s that boy next door type of kid,” the Panthers’ coach said. “He’s that real wholesome, nice kid, well-rounded, great family. He’s a kid you really wouldn’t mind if your daughter was dating him.” It’s hardly a surprise that Shevlin was named a captain. “He leads by example, and he speaks when he needs to,” Banas said. Shevlin, who also plays cornerback on passing downs, is hoping to continue his career at the collegiate level. A priority when choosing a college will be finding a school that allows him to pursue a career as an athletic trainer.

To read Shevlin’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/tim-shevlin-0073170