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 Feb. 25, 2020
Sierra Dahling was a member of a bowling family decades before she was born. Even if she didn’t know it yet, the Abington senior was destined for a life on the lanes. Perhaps you’ve heard of football or basketball or lacrosse families, but make no mistake about it: the Dahling clan has, is and always will be deeply rooted in bowling. “It started way before my current family,” Dahling said. “My great grandmother bowled and she taught my grandma how to bowl, who then taught my mom. It’s been around forever in my family. Most of the couples in our family met at a bowling alley, which is kind of cool. It’s a sport you can do no matter how athletic you are. And in other sports, people of different ages don’t mix together, but in bowling, there’s adult-youth tournaments so I can bowl with my 9-year-old brother. My dad can bowl with me. It’s just something we can all do together, and that’s what has kept it in our family for so long.”
Dahling estimated that she’s been bowling competitively since she was 4, the earliest age for a child to do so, but really, she’s been bowling “since I was 18 months old, basically since I’ve been able to walk,” she said. Her mother used to manage the Willow Grove Park Bowling Lanes, which meant tons of access and time to practice her craft from a very early age. For Dahling, it was always bowling. Nothing else even remotely compared. “I tried Tee-ball when I was 4, and I realized how terrible I was at it,” she said. “I can’t run to save my life and I couldn’t hit the ball even though it was on a tee. But once I was able to start bowling myself, it was like, ‘Wow, I don’t suck at this! This is cool, I can actually do this.’”
Dahling has been a four-year member of Abington’s bowling team, and according to head coach Brian Wenders, the team’s record is 46-9 in that span. The program has either won the league or finished second all four years, and Dahling has made marked improvements each season. Her average has gone up 24 pins from freshman to senior year (139 to 163), and Wenders said in his 20 years as coach, Dahling has the eighth-highest average of any player to come through the program. Not only that, but Dahling has participated in the Eastern Regional Tournament in all four of her years at Abington.
“Sierra is a good spare shooter,” Wenders said. “That’s what separates the better bowlers from average ones. The difference with her is her consistency and ability to make any shot. She had two older sisters on the team when she was a freshman, and since then she’s stepped up to become our anchor. She wants the pressure. She wants the match to come down to her. Her willingness to put the team on her shoulders is impressive. When you see her confidence and motivation to do well, you know that she is going to do well in life. She brings that to everything she does, and you can tell what type of person she is because of that.”
This fall, Dahling is bound for the University of Alabama to study nursing. After she graduates, she wants to travel to Third World countries to help underprivileged children who desperately need medical attention. She also is a Cub Scouts den leader for Pack 438, and also works at an ice cream parlor. In her sparetime, she loves to sew and make blankets, another interest that she inherited from her family. Now, she makes them for the kids she babysits, and said she’s looked into making them for pediatric patients at CHOP and NICU babies at Abington Hospital.
To read Dahling’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/sierra-dahling-0089970
Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete for week of Feb.25, 2020
For all that Anthony Schoppe has accomplished in his Wissahickon High School swimming career, perhaps the best example of what he means to the team comes not from his times or individual race records, his appearances in Districts, or even his recent Suburban One American Conference 500 freestyle championship. The best example of what Schoppe means to the Trojans was an instance in which he didn’t want to swim in an event. Having already qualified for Districts in the 500 freestyle, Schoppe offered to sit out the event because the 200 freestyle relay—on which Schoppe also swam—came next, and the Trojans were still trying to achieve the 200 free relay qualifying time for Districts.
Rather than going for an opportunity to lower his own time in the 500 and try to better his standing in his individual event, Schoppe offered to save himself for the relay. “Anthony came up to me and just asked, ‘Should I not be doing the 500?’” said Wissahickon boys’ swimming coach Jonathan Faikish. “He saw that the lineup was 500 free, then 200 free relay, and he asked if he should be pulled out of his individual event so he could focus on the relay. That’s Anthony. His first focus is always the team, and if it comes down to it, he’s willing to take himself out of the race for sake of the team. And that’s something that’s filtered down into the other kids on the relay and on the team. They hear how he speaks and they see his actions and they try to do the same. You can directly see the result of his leadership molding the team to be a team.”
A captain on this year’s Trojan squad, Schoppe was the rare leader who possesses the ability to lead both by deeds and words. “Anthony is the kid every single coach wants and the kind of captain you want for your team,” Faikish said. “He’s the first one in the pool, the last one to leave. He’s the hardest-working kid I have, he’s passionate, and he gives his all in every race and in every practice, and that’s something the younger guys see and it makes them want to match that intensity. But he’s also the guy next to me on the pool deck at a meet, cheering on his teammates. He knows the kids’ personal bests, he’s going ballistic for them while they’re racing. He’s the first one running up to them to compliment them on the personal records after a race, he’s up and down the deck screaming for them. He’s a true example of what you want on your team as a leader.”
Schoppe will spend the next four years at West Chester University pursuing a degree in elementary education. He expects he will participate in swimming and water polo at the club level, and he said he’s trying to talk himself into trying out for the Golden Rams men’s swim team (odds are strong that he’ll have successfully convinced himself to do so once tryouts are scheduled). “Anthony comes from a great family, and you can see how his family is a part of our team,” Faikish said. “He’s a middle child, so he’s following in the footsteps of one sibling while trying to set the example for another. But as an individual, Anthony is a perfect representation of that family feeling and that community feeling we want to have with our team. Everything he does, as a teammate, as a student, as a kid in the community, he is the perfect example of who you want for your program.”
To read Schoppe’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/anthony-schoppe-0089985