Thanks to our continued partnership with Univest Financial, SuburbanOneSports.com will once again recognize a male and female featured athlete each week. The recognition is given to seniors of high character who are students in good standing that have made significant contributions to their teams or who have overcome adversity. Selections are based on nominations received from coaches, athletic directors and administrators.
Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Female Athlete (Week of Jan. 18, 2023)
Every team needs a Bella Haurin. No, the Central Bucks East senior is not a headliner, and she’s not a star. As a matter of fact, she contributes in a reserve role for the basketball team and plays first doubles for the tennis team, but mention her name to either of her coaches, and it takes no time at all to realize how much she is valued. “Bella is a fighter and always gives her best,” East tennis coach Ieda Garcia said. “She’s always very focused and determined to play her best. She’s also very responsible and committed with the best sportsmanship and team spirit on and off the court. Off the court, she one of the kindest players, interacting with everyone, including the jayvee players.”
“You might not know her name,” East basketball coach Liz Potash said. “She’s not someone you’re going to read about in terms of stats. Her minutes can be limited at times, but she’s super valuable on the team. She’s just a great teammate, she cheers for her teammates. She’s just a really good kid. She knows every single play, she sees things, and she knows basketball.” In addition to contributing off the bench, Haurin brings value from the spot she occupies on the bench. “I’m usually at the end of the bench because I think it’s a better view of the court,” the East senior said. The end of the bench also happens to be where Potash stands when she coaches, and the two have established a unique bond. “For three years, I feel I’ve talked to Bella,” the Patriots’ coach said. The opportunity to converse during games can be attributed – more than anything - to a litany of injuries Haurin endured.
Freshman year, she was actually injury-free. Sophomore year, Haurin’s fortunes changed. “It happened during tennis season,” she said. “I thought I pulled something in my leg because it felt like a pulled muscle, so I played on it for two weeks before it got too painful to sit down.” An MRI determined it was a herniated disc, forcing Haurin to miss the remainder of her tennis season and her entire basketball season. “My two options were either surgery to remove the disc or physical therapy,” she said. “I did PT for six months. Sophomore year was the COVID year – I ended up doing virtual online through Central Bucks because I couldn’t sit for long periods of time because it was just really painful. The aspect of not seeing everyone during school was a little rough.”
Haurin - who competed on the AAU circuit with Upper Makefield Heat –stayed with the team and served as a manager during the shortened COVID season. Junior year also included a setback when Haurin suffered an ankle injury that once again kept her on the sidelines for an extended period of time. If there’s a positive aspect to Haurin’s injuries, it’s the camaraderie she shares with Potash. “I probably talk to Bella more during games than I do to my assistants, and I’m not kidding,” the East coach said. “I don’t go to the other end of the bench because if I do, they yell at me because they can’t see the game, so I stand at the end of the bench, and I hang with Bella. Even when she’s not in the game, she is totally engaged in the game.”
On the tennis court, Haurin, who has been on the varsity four years, has contributed as a doubles player, and this past fall she was part of a successful first doubles team for an East squad that captured the division crown. “She had an outstanding season, winning most of her matches,” Garcia said. “Even though she had a bad ankle during the fall season, she never missed a practice or a match, always cheering and motivating the team to keep playing their best.”
An excellent student, Haurin who is taking three AP courses, has not made a college choice but plans to major in pre-med with her sights set on a career in pediatrics. Haurin is part of the National Charity League, a mother-daughter volunteer group. At East, she is involved in Athletes Helping Athletes, but for now, her focus is on her final high school basketball season. It’s an experience Haurin wouldn’t have wanted to miss. “It’s given me a whole different group of friends, and the team aspect of the sport is really important in your life because you learn many different lessons through it,” she said. “It also helps with time management of school and other activities, and that’s really important going to college next year and something that’s important to learn.”
To read Haurin’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/bella-haurin-00104721
Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete (Week of Jan. 18, 2023)
Unless you are one of infamous flunkies known as “Sweathogs” from “Welcome Back, Kotter,” you are not getting more than one chance to be a high school senior. So, when Quakertown’s Ty Wilkin tore a ligament in his ankle in the fourth game of the season just over five weeks ago, it seemed like the team’s captain and lone senior was not going to have the senior season he had dreamed about. “It was in a game against PW,” he recalled. “I went up for layup and came down on it. I didn’t land on anything. My ankle just hit the floor. It was like half a softball, the whole side of my ankle. The next day, I was in a boot.”
However, with a lot of hard work and support from team trainer Bill Clewell, Wilkin appears to be on course to join his younger brother, sophomore point guard Sam Wilkin, and the rest of the team in time to take the floor on Senior Night. “I just got out of the boot,” he said. “I’ve been doing crazy rehab, like 12-16 hours a week, with the trainer at practice. That’s kind of where I’m at right now. I went to a pretty good orthopedic doctor, and my trainer said he would do anything he could do, and I trust him. He said he could try to get me out there for Senior Night, most importantly, so I kind of just went with his gut.”
While not on the floor, Wilkin is on the bench, serving as an unofficial assistant coach on the staff of head coach Anthony DaCosta. Wilkin was a key returning starter. With his points per game average in the low double digits, he was a Liberty Division Honorable Mention selection as a junior. As team captain, he was being looked upon to lead the Panthers into the District playoffs this year. “I respect him so much,” said DaCosta, who in his third year as coach at Quakertown and third with Wilkin. “Now, his perspective, after sitting with us as coaches, has changed. As our only senior, he has been inspirational in keeping guys encouraged and trying to not get discouraged. He has been every bit of the captain we expected him to be.”
Knowing the type of mature young man that Wilkin has grown into, it has not been a surprise to DaCosta. “He is just such a great person, and I’m not just blowing smoke,” said the coach, whose previous experience was at Faith Christian and Dock Mennonite Academy. “He just wants the best out of everybody. He has great parents. They have done a tremendous job. The biggest thing is that you never know how somebody is going to respond until they have adversity. That wasn’t something he always did well, but that’s clearly the biggest area where he has grown, the ability to handle things when they don’t go well. Not playing has also given him a different perspective on how to maintain composure, maintain your poise.”
While some in his situation would have found it difficult, Wilkin embraced the opportunity. “Definitely,” said Wilkin. “I sit on the sidelines. I’m at every practice. I’m captain of the team and the only senior. I’m at everything, I just coach up the guys in the locker room, and stuff like that. That’s what he wants me to do, too. He usually wants me to watch the big men, stuff like that.”
Wilkin is actually an equally effective golfer, having played since around the age of 9 and seriously since the age of 13-14. He doesn’t want to travel too far away to major in accounting in college. It’s just a question of whether or not he wants to golf at the next level.
In addition to AAU basketball and golf, Wilkin is an excellent student. He has a 4.18 GPA and is heavily involved in the school community as well. “I’m involved in a lot of things,” he said. That is a bit of an understatement. Consider that Wilkin is: President of the National Honor Society, Treasurer of Key Club, a member of Best Buddies, Executive officer and class officer, and a student ambassador. This all begs the question of how he budgets his time. “That’s a good question,” he said. “I really don’t how to explain it, like on paper. I just lay out everything that I have to do that week. I just try to plan ahead.”
To read Wilkin’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/ty-wilkin-00104718
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