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 Dec. 18, 2019
Someday somewhere down the line Courtney Kenah could well be working on Wall Street, and the Souderton senior will look back to where it all began. On a hockey field. Not literally, of course, but Kenah’s passion for hockey and the outstanding skills she developed undeniably opened doors that might not otherwise have been opened. “I always wanted to go to the best school that field hockey could get me into,” Kenah said. That’s exactly what she will be doing. The senior standout recently received her letter of admittance to the University of Pennsylvania where she has one of just two seats offered to her field hockey class in the prestigious Wharton School of Business. “When I went on one of my visits to Penn, they said if I wanted a seat at Wharton, it was mine,” Kenah said. “As someone who wanted to go into business, I don’t want to pass up on the opportunity to go to the number one business school in the country. With the good athletic program and the excellent school, that was a great fit.”
Kenah got her first taste of field hockey in first grade and joined WC Eagles on the club circuit when she was in third grade. “It was the only place that started kids that young,” Kenah said. “I went once a week and only in the fall, but in fourth grade, I started doing winter, and I kept adding practices. I’d do winter and then I did small group and things like that as the years went on.” She reaped the dividends for her hard work, earning a spot in the varsity lineup as a freshman. Souderton’s field hockey program – two years removed from a one-win season - was on the rise when Kenah and her classmates arrived. The Indians won 17 games in her first two seasons combined but equaled that win total when Kenah was a junior. This year, the Indians took the final step, capturing a share of the program’s first SOL Continental Conference title in 15 years and earning its second berth in states in as many years. “I was always hoping that it would happen,” she said. “Could I honestly see it happening? I’m not so sure, but it’s really awesome it ended up happening. Especially the last two years, it’s nice to go out with a bang.”
There is no mistaking Kenah’s immense impact on the program. The gifted right forward - blessed with both speed and talent - closed out a stellar senior season with 26 goals and 18 assists for a total of 70 points to lead all conference players. “The big difference in Courtney this year – she was consistently strong,” coach Sue Casciato said. “Her three best games last year were the two district games and states where she was the standout player for us in the postseason. This year she played that way in league games, non-league games. She was just a stronger player throughout the season. She got better as the competition got better and the season went along. Lots of times she was double teamed. Sometimes we would move her around, but because of her speed, lots of times she could run right past people.”
Away from the hockey field, Kenah – a member of the National Honor Society – is an excellent student with a course load of AP and honors classes. She is also a member of Souderton’s Athletic Leadership Council and LINK Crew, which helps incoming freshmen get acclimated to high school life. She volunteers in both her school and community and is the definition of a student-athlete. “Courtney came in with a bucket list of things she needed to accomplish - not just in hockey but things throughout her senior year,” Casciato said. “Getting to states, winning the league title, she’d be like, ‘Okay, one more thing to get off my bucket list.’ She had a super year, she’s a good kid.”
To read Kenah’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/courtney-kenah-0088872
Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete for week of Dec. 18, 2019
Jared Loeper – despite going through the physical and mental wringer - still managed to save his best for last. It’s fitting that Loeper’s primary sport is cross country, as the Council Rock South senior unwittingly took the scenic route to athletic fulfillment and success. “Sophomore year I got Lyme disease, which pretty much ruined my cross country season,” Loeper said. “I came back for winter track and did OK there, but then for spring season my times started declining. It wasn’t so noticeable or alarming at the time, so I didn’t see a medical professional. Then, during junior year of cross country, I started well, getting my time to around the 18-minute area. But throughout the season, the time kept going up and up and up until it was 20, 21 minutes. My legs were like bricks during races, and as soon as I got home I would just crash and sleep for hours and hours.”
Ultimately, Loeper went to see a doctor, and after a battery of blood tests, it was discovered that he had iron-deficiency anemia, a condition in which the body lacks healthy red blood cells. Finally, Loeper had an explanation for why he was so fatigued all the time, but the resolution did little to comfort him in the moment. Despite the unknown medical condition impacting his own times, Loeper’s teammates were able to qualify for the state meet as a team. He was beyond ecstatic that the Hawks were able to get there, but having to watch the state’s most prestigious meet from the sidelines was tough for Loeper.“It was honestly a dark time,” he said of the entire saga.
But Loeper, who has also battled pneumonia and other nagging physical ailments, refused to throw in the towel and didn’t let the maladies diminish his enthusiasm or spirit. If anything, he approached the adversity as a personal challenge to make it back as a real contributor for his senior campaign. South would be graduating its top two seniors that helped the team reach the state tournament, and if the Hawks had any chance to make it back as a team, Loeper felt he needed to be a vital piece of the puzzle. His dogged perseverance and refusal to give up paid major dividends, as Loeper ended up becoming a key cog on a team that ended up winning a league championship and collectively qualifying for the state meet. The Hawks placed 8th out of 19 teams at states, and Loeper earned first team all-league honors in Suburban One for his efforts. “Jared’s final season was more than I expected from him,” Council Rock South head cross country coach Paul Wilson said. “He made a real impact on our team. Winning a league championship and placing at states, Jared was a big part of that. Without him, we don’t qualify. It just wasn’t going to happen. The quality of his performances, which were very high, had a great deal to do with us making it. He works so hard and is certainly an exceptional kid.”
Loeper has applied to Temple, Pitt, Drexel, Rowan and West Chester, and he’s already been accepted to Rowan. He’s still waiting to hear back from the other schools, but Rowan is alluring in the sense that the
school offers cross country at the Division III level. Loeper is in the process of submitting an application for an Air Force ROTC scholarship. He isn’t sure of his career trajectory yet, but he loves English and Social Studies. Loeper would like to do something with that interest, or perhaps he’ll study business. Loeper is an Eagle Scout and enjoys participating with the organization. Additionally, Loeper and his friends also have their own YouTube channel called Pepperoni Pants, though the content they create has nothing to do with pepperoni, pizza or pants. The channel has close to 750 subscribers, and Loeper and company have produced nearly 30 videos to date.
To read Loeper’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/jared-loeper-0088873