School: North Penn
Favorite athlete: Pavel Datsyuk
Favorite team: Edmonton Oilers
Favorite memory competing in sports: Winning a National Championship with the Hatfield Ice Dogs.
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: One of my teammates forgot his entire hockey bag but came to the rink.
Music on iPod: Variety (Rap, rock, hip hop…)
Future plans: Go to Penn State or Pitt for engineering and play hockey
Words to live by: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
One goal before turning 30: Have a successful career and start a family.
One thing people don’t know about me: I was born in California
Caleb Witzaney plays defense for the North Penn ice hockey team. He also happens to be the team’s leading scorer.
“I think he’s the most talented player in the league,” said North Penn coach Kevin Vaitis, whose squad is in first place in the Continental Division of the Suburban High School Hockey League. “He plays primarily on defense, but we just recently moved him up to forward also. We did that to create more offense for our team up front.”
Witzaney has tallied a couple of hat tricks this season and has been instrumental in some key victories.
Wherever Witzaney is, he seems to thrive. Whether it’s on the ice or in the classroom, he excels.
Witzaney is a 4.0 student at North Penn High School. He takes all honors courses, including Advanced Placement science and math and statistics.
“I try really hard in school,” Witzaney said. “I think that’s the most important thing.”
His main interests are in math and the sciences — physics, chemistry. He plans to pursue engineering in college, most likely at either Penn State or Pittsburgh.
He used to play baseball. He’s in French Club. He has tutored other students. He helped organize the annual toy drive to benefit the North Penn Boys and Girls Club.
On the ice, he was selected to the 2012 SHSHL Travel All-Star Team. He also worked as a mentor to younger players for the Ice Dogs travel program, a club team, and also for the North Penn squad, helping out with the middle school program.
Not to mention, his Ice Dogs club team happened to win nationals.
“It was the greatest thing ever,” he said. “It was fun. It was a good group of guys, a good group of friends.
Witzaney is exactly the type of player that Vaitis looks for.
“He’s a leader by example,” the Knights’ coach said. “He’s not the vocal guy who’s going to get in your face. He may do that behind the scenes, but he displays his effort on the ice. He’s always one of the first ones to show up at practice, and he’s first in line to do drills. He always wants to be out there. He comes through in critical moments in games, and he has a lot of experience.
“He’s always, ‘Yes, coach. Whatever you want me to do, coach,’” Vaitis said. “He has a tremendous work ethic. He never complains. He’s always ready to go. The big thing with Caleb is that not only is he very talented, but he’s the most respectful young man I’ve come across.”
Witzaney has been playing high school hockey for three years, but he has been involved with the game for much longer than that.
“I’ve been playing since I was four or five,” he said. “I just forget about everything else when I’m on the ice. It’s a chance to get away and have fun with a bunch of friends. It’s the best sport there is, in my opinion. There’s never any down time. You’re always moving.”
Witzaney embraces his role as an assistant captain.
“I try to get guys motivated before games,” he said. “And I try to keep them calm and make sure they’re prepared. I wouldn’t want to be on any other team. I love these guys. I hope we can do something special this year.
“I feel really privileged to be able to play,” he said. “I think it’s really important to respect the refs and the other players, respect the game.”
North Penn is 7-1-1, just ahead of Souderton and Central Bucks South in the division. Witzaney has 25 points on 14 goals and 11 assists.
“He’s a player who can singlehandedly take over a game,” Vaitis said. “When other teams start keying on him, he can distribute the puck. He brings a lot of credentials to the table. He’s always upbeat, always has a great attitude. He’s just a terrific hockey player, from a coaching perspective, and a terrific guy. Both on and off the ice, he’s a great guy all around.”
Perhaps North Penn is destined for something special this year. It’s not surprising, considering Witzaney is leading the way.