Univest Featured Athletes (Wk 1-16-13)

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 (Week of Jan. 16, 2013)

Rachel Falkowski is passionate about basketball, and the Central Bucks South senior can’t imagine her life without sports. “If I didn’t play sports, I would probably be sitting on the couch watching TV,” she said. “I wouldn’t have a life.” While that isn’t true, it does underscore Falkowski’s passion for her sport. “You can just tell she loves basketball,” coach Beth Mattern said. “She’s always loved basketball, she’s always been very competitive. She played other sports but gave them up to focus on basketball. She comes in every day ready to play and is very competitive.”

If Falkowski needed a reminder how much she loved basketball, she got it this season when she suffered a sprained ankle in the opening minutes of the Titans’ SOL opener against Pennridge and was sidelined for both the North Penn and Quakertown games. “She never hid from it,” Mattern said. “She was there for the team, she was visible. She was cheering, she was helping with stats and whatever we needed help with that day and trying to keep the girls moving in a positive direction.” Falkowski is a vocal leader and takes her role of captain very seriously. “Being a captain, you need to step up, you need to be a leader for your teammates, and you need to show them the right way to do things,” she said. “If you hear them saying something negative, you need to tell them that we need to stay positive, we need to keep playing as a team, which is really what being a captain is all about.”

Falkowski, who also played softball and soccer, has been part of the AAU basketball circuit since she was in third grade. After one year of playing with the Wildcats, she joined Fencor and stayed with the program for the duration of her eligibility.

Falkowski plans to play basketball at the collegiate level with East Stroudsburg at the top of her list of college choices. She is planning to pursue a career as an athletic trainer. “Just observing the athletic trainer at our school – I like the way you’re still involved with sports and you get to interact and help people also,” Falkowski said.

To read Falkowski’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/rachel-falkowski-0031469

Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete (Week of Jan. 16, 2013)

David Zurmuhl didn’t start swimming until he was in junior high. Some folks might call the Pennridge senior a natural. Despite his late start in the sport, Zurmuhl is a four-year district championship qualifier and a two-time state qualifier. His specialties are the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, and he’ll be swimming for Cornell next winter. “David’s a great kid,” coach Ryan Griffiths said. “He’s worked really hard and come a long way over the past four years. He keeps improving. He’s one of those stories where he started later, but his ability and awareness about his body and the mental aspects have helped him succeed. He’s worked hard for everything he’s accomplished, and I’d love to see him cap off his career here with a great run at states.”

Zurmuhl qualified for the state championships in the 50 free. Last year he did it in both the 50 and 100 and finished in the top 16 in both. He’s a second-year team captain who has consistently placed in the top 10 at districts as well as at the Suburban One League Continental championships. “His work ethic is bar none, with his dry-land training and in the water and all the offseason stuff he does,” Griffiths said. “He’s very coachable. He’s open to constructive criticism on things that might need to change or that can get better. He’s able to give you feedback on what he’s feeling, how things are going. He puts a lot of effort and thought into his training. And he always seems to show up and perform well in the biggest meets, the biggest moments.”

Griffiths also has been impressed with Zurmuhl as he relates to his teammates. “He’s very even tempered and won’t get overly excited, whether it’s a good day or a bad day,” the Rams’ coach said. “He expects other people to work as hard as he does. He’s usually our anchor in relays. He leads by example and lets his actions speak, but he can also be vocal. He tries to get the best out of the other swimmers, and in a positive way, he rides the younger kids. But not only does he get the job done in the pool, he gets it done first in the classroom.”

A member of the National Honor Society, Zurmuhl, who plays the cello, went on recruiting trips to Brown and Johns Hopkins before deciding on Cornell. He plans to major in physics and then pursue a graduate degree, possibly in engineering.”

To view Zurmuhl’s complete profile, please click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/david-zurmuhl-0031470