Univest Featured Athletes (Wk. 10-3-18)

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 Oct. 3, 2018

Fearless. It’s a word coach Nick Heim uses to describe Chelsea Jameson, and it’s an essential trait for anyone aspiring to play goalie, a position the Council Rock South senior has occupied for as long as she can remember. Heim recalls his team’s Rock Cup game against Council Rock North with Jameson in net as a sophomore. “They had a very fast and dangerous forward, Kayla Robinson,” the Golden Hawks’ coach said. “We knew we couldn’t let her beat us, and one play Kayla slipped past the back line, and Chelsea came up huge on a breakaway save to secure the win and secure the trophy.” The end result was a 2-0 CR South win, and Jameson went on to earn All-SOL National second team honors. The sky was the limit for the sophomore standout, but the script didn’t exactly go as planned for Jameson, who inexplicably began experiencing back pain at the end of her sophomore year. “Honestly, it came out of nowhere,” she said. “I was doing so many sports and working too. I guess I pushed it, and in the beginning of my junior year, it got to the point where it was unbearable, and I couldn’t even get myself out of bed.”

Jameson went through a series of doctors. None had an explanation. She watched from the sidelines while the Golden Hawks made a magical postseason run to the state quarterfinals. “It was definitely tough, but I love my team,” Jameson said. “Every day I went to practice, I dressed in uniform at every game, I was screaming, I was so excited for them.” Jameson’s back pain, however, remained a mystery. Until she eventually ended up under the care Dr. Alexander Vaccaro, the President of Rothman Institute. “He connected with me on my sports aspect,” Jameson said. “He understood how big of a deal it was for me and I needed to keep playing.” She was diagnosed with an advanced case of Spondylolisthesis, the shifting of the L5 and S1 vertebrae in her spinal column. Surgery was her only option is she aspired to ever play sports again.

On Feb. 13, Dr. Vaccaro performed the spinal fusion, and the journey back began. Jameson was homeschooled and did not return to the classroom until late May. She was given the clearance to return to soccer this summer and is back with the Golden Hawks. “We’re proud of her,” Heim said. “She has never used her injury as an excuse for anything and has never wanted any slack cut for her. She’s truly an inspiration to her teammates and coaches.” Jameson has seen time in the net and has not given up on her dream of playing at the collegiate. “Basically, I want it to be known that I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m not far from it,” she said. Jameson is looking to pursue a career in law.

To read Jameson’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/chelsea-jameson-0080619

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete for week of Oct. 3, 2018

As one of the smallest schools in the SOL, Upper Moreland tends to be classified as the little brother of the league. And, like a little brother, the Golden Bears get picked on by bigger sibling schools, or, in some cases, even by other teams inside their own school hallways. Chris O’Donnell gets it, especially after his soccer squad endured a 1-15-1 season a year ago during O’Donnell’s junior campaign. But that doesn’t mean the two-sport athlete – O’Donnell is also a captain for the basketball team – is happy about it, and he’s doing everything he can to buck the perception that Upper Moreland can’t hang with the big boys. Sept. 12 was a turning point O’Donnell and the Bears’ soccer program. After being outscored 11-0 over the course of two games last season by neighboring Hatboro-Horsham, Upper Moreland was tired of being pushed around. The team dug in its heels, scratched and clawed for every loose ball and found themselves tied at zero late in the game. That is, until O’Donnell, as he is wont to do, found himself near the ball in the right place at the right time and won a 50/50 ball with the Hatters’ goalkeeper. The goal gave the Bears an enthralling 1-0 win, one O’Donnell lists as his favorite moment ever while playing competitive sports.

O’Donnell is a big reason why the Bears already have four times as many wins as they did a season ago, sitting at 4-5-3 overall. The striker has scored 11 goals in 12 games. Matt Duffey is in his second year as the school’s head soccer coach and is left continuously amazed by how O’Donnell uses his intelligence and soccer IQ to compensate for any deficiencies that exist in his game. “He doesn’t have blazing speed, and he’s not a big kid who will physically dominate you,” Duffey said. “he’s not going to amaze you with a super powerful shot that some kids have either. What he does extremely well is put himself in spots at the right time, and he reads the game really well for somebody who isn’t especially physically dominant. He uses his body very well to get into position to get to the ball and put it in the net.”

For his part, O’Donnell is accustomed to working for everything he gets. At just 5-8, O’Donnell is diminutive in his preferred sport of basketball, and he’s learned to apply the same types of lessons he’s learned on the court on the soccer pitch. He hopes to play basketball in college, most likely at the Division III level, at a school where he can pursue his goal of becoming an aerospace engineer. When he’s not playing soccer or basketball or hitting the books. O’Donnell said he’s become passionate about music in the last two years and even taught himself to play guitar. He’s also involved with Upper Moreland’s Bear Cub Buddy Program where he and other students work with younger kids with special needs.

To read O’Donnell’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/chris-odonnell-0080648