Univest Featured Athletes (Wk. 10-12-20)

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 Oct. 12, 2020


Phoebe Lynch can’t remember a day when she wasn’t playing sports. Until, that is, a recent weekend when the two-year captain of her Lower Moreland soccer team – on her way to earning 12 varsity letters - was playing club for her Philadelphia Ukrainian National team in her team’s first game of the fall. “We were playing on a grass field, which no one was used to because we all play on turf for high school too,” Lynch said. “The grass was long. I already had ankle problems, and I tend to twist my ankle, so I already was a little bit nervous, but I was playing great in the game. It was about 15 minutes in, and the other team got a corner kick. I went up for a header shoulder to shoulder with a girl for the other team, and I got knocked off balance. I came down on my knee, and it just shifted inward and cracked.” Lynch was in shock. “So many emotions were going through my head,” she said. “A lot of my friends have gone through knee injuries. I have two friends who tore their ACL, one friend who’s done it twice. I’ve been there to see what happens when they did it, so I think I did know right away. I was thinking, ‘Am I going to get to play in the future?’ I was a mess at that point.”


After a trip to the ER and ensuing visit to a pediatrician at CHOP in Chalfont, Lynch still didn’t have confirmation that she’d torn her ACL. A visit to an orthopedic doctor and an MRI, however, did. With the confirmation came the unimaginable realization that her high school days of competing in sports were over. “It was definitely devastating to hear,” Lynch said. “I already questioned how our season was going to go with COVID, and I was already a little bit sad that my senior year wasn’t going to look like a normal senior year. I was actually really devastated. I wasn’t just upset that I wasn’t going to be playing. I also had this mindset that I was also letting my team down.”


It turns out Lynch is doing anything but letting her team down. “This is the best part about Phoebe and is a great example of who she is,” Lower Moreland first-year coach Mike Gould said. “She has literally been to everything – on time to every practice, on time to every bus for a game. She is super supportive of not just the teammates in her grade – that’s really easy, but she’s super supportive of a freshman girl she doesn’t even know. We’re starting six freshmen because of injuries, so she’s been like a second coach. Girls come off the field during practice, and she’ll talk to them. On top of that, she’s very friendly with them outside of soccer, but the best way to describe Phoebe since she got hurt is basically a second coach. Even at halftime of games, I’ll ask her in the team huddles what she’s seeing, what she thinks. She’s an intelligent soccer player, and she’s somebody that all the girls respect on the team.” Lynch will have surgery on Nov. 24, the delay to see if her partially torn MCL and patella tendon can heal on their own before that time. Although she will not be on the court or diamond, she has no intention of walking away from sports and will attend both practices and games for basketball and hopes to do the same for softball.


Since freshman year, Lynch has been a member of Lower Moreland’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee, a group of athletes in grades 10-12 that come up with ideas to help make the athletic experience as a whole better. Lynch is also the family relations captain for Lower Moreland’s Mini-THON, which raises money to fight pediatric cancer. An excellent student, Lynch – who is still considering playing collegiate soccer – is uncertain of her major, but she is looking to attend a strong academic institution next year, noting that academics will always be her top priority. “She’s really smart in the classroom, and she’s a great soccer player,” Gould said. “She’s just a great kid and super likable. Even the older girls that played with her when they were younger in high school – they all have good things to say about her. She’s just a high character kid.”


To read Lynch’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/phoebe-lynch-0091697



Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete for week of Oct. 12, 2020


There are team captains and then, well, there are team captains. And then, practically re-defining what it means to be a team leader in the age of COVID-19, you have the likes of Springfield soccer captain Pierson Rubincam, a midfielder with an eye affixed on playing the game at the next level in the future while knowing where he came from and fully aware of his role in the present. “During a difficult season for all of us, Pierson has been the engine that keeps us going,” said his coach, Dan Meder. “His work rate and spirit have been strong in times of need. He's been a constant that we can count on and he has not let anything - not the restrictions or an undesirable result - dampen his mood. When the team needs a lift, he's doing the lifting on and off the field.” 


One of the reasons Meder considers Rubincam as the “ideal player to coach” is not his effort during games, but on the practice field. Said Meder: “He welcomes feedback. He wants us to run the drill one more time or a little longer or until we get it right. He's been a great role model for our younger players.” Rubincam does this by bringing intensity to the practice field every day. “I am a strong believer that the way you perform in practice reflects the way you will perform in a game,” the senior captain said. “If you practice sloppy you will play sloppy. It's that simple. The whole entire point of practice is to get better as an individual and also as a team so we can produce the proper results. That cannot happen if people are being lazy and not practicing the right way. If we practice hard, then we will play hard in games.”


As good as Rubincam is as a player and leader on the field, he is an even better citizen off of it. After a close family friend passed away Dec. 23 several years ago, Rubincam and his family found a way to honor her memory. “She appreciated the carolers that showed up at her door that December,” he explained. “Ever since then, my family -- along with a few others -- have been going to a local hospice center to carol and spread holiday cheer to those who need it most. It feels good to have a positive impact on others. The smallest things can mean so much to people.” When COVID hit, Rubincam was again prompted into action. “I wanted to help, so I collected items for the Chestnut Hill Meals on Wheels,” he said. “After advertising and offering to pick up goods, I was able to drop off over 500 items. It is important to remember that even those in your own community might need support.”  Because Springfield is a smaller school than its opponents, Rubincam relishes moments like beating Upper Dublin in overtime last year and tying Wissahickon to open the season this year. “Playing for Springfield you are almost always going to be an underdog because of our small school size, so it is very special to me when we can defeat one of these bigger schools,” he said. “It tells us that it is not the size of the dog that matters but the size of the fight in the dog.”


Where did it come from, this attitude? Rubincam traces it back two generations, saying it was instilled in him by his grandfather, Herky Rubincam, who told him and his two younger brothers, repeatedly, “Don’t be afraid to fail.” “This means that if you always have failure in your mind then you will never succeed,” Rubincam said. “You must embrace failure and welcome it, so you can learn from your failures and use your experience to help you succeed in both soccer and whatever else you are doing. Soccer at the next level is my goal. It is extremely important to me to receive a good education so I can be successful in the future. I believe I can use the drive I have in soccer and channel it to my future plans to help give me a profession that I will succeed at and enjoy, whatever that may be.” Rubincam, an honor roll student with a course load of all AP and honors classes, is keeping his college options open, and says he is not entirely sure what his major will be in college.

To read Rubincam’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/pierson-rubincam-0091696