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 Nov. 12, 2019
Caroline Dunigan has spent so much of her life in and around swimming pools that at this point it would be no wonder if she sprouted gills. There are swimming families, and then there are the Dunigans. Caroline’s father, Dan, has deep roots in the North Penn swimming community that go back decades. Dan Dunigan was an all-state swimmer at North Penn High School where his daughter is currently a senior, graduating in 1990 before moving on to coach at the North Penn Aquatic Club (NPAC). So, it wouldn’t be hyperbolic at all to say that Caroline literally grew up on the pool deck. “My dad used to coach way back when, and he used to bring me to meets when I was still in a stroller,” she said. “I really started to love it once I got to high school, but I’ve been swimming my entire life.”
Dunigan began swimming competitively when she was 6 or 7, according to Jeff Faikish, the varsity swim coach at North Penn and Caroline’s first coach at NPAC. Faikish and Jason Grubb, the girls water polo coach at North Penn where Caroline spent the last two seasons as the varsity goalie, have known and coached her since she was a youngster, with both maintaining that they saw greatness from an early age. “We’ve known Caroline her entire life,” Grubb said. “Her dad coached me when I was younger at NPAC, and the Dunigan family has been part of this swim community for a long time. She’s just a stellar athlete, extremely fast and one of the best swimmers in the state.”
This isn’t just coach speak from Grubb, as Dunigan has the credentials to back his words up. She finished second and fifth in the 50 and 100 freestyle, respectively, at last year’s state championships and helped earn her team enough points to deliver North Penn its third state championship as a team in the last four years. Not only that, but as the goalie on Grubb’s water polo squad the last two seasons, Dunigan helped lead North Penn to its fifth and sixth consecutive state titles.
Her prowess in the water led Dunigan to a swimming scholarship with Ohio University, a Division-I program, and she will begin swimming for the Bobcats next winter. However, until then, Dunigan still has some unfinished business to tend to, as she hopes to add a state gold medal to her long list of accomplishments before she moves on from the North Penn swimming incubator that has shaped so much of her life to this point. “Caroline has a very unique and amazing swimming mind,” Faikish said. “In her mind, nobody is going to deter her from what she is going to set out to do. She doesn’t care where a shot is in water polo, because she’s going to stop it, just like she’s going to beat the person next to her in swimming. Her competitiveness is special. She may not be very tall, but she has the ability and is ridiculously strong for her size. Her drive and motivation are what separate her from the rest of the kids who swim. I don’t care if the girl next to her in the 50 free is a foot taller, she’ll be competitive because she wants to win that badly.”
Dunigan chose Ohio University over Bucknell and Duquesne, saying that Ohio just offered the complete package of what she was looking for in a college. She bonded with future teammates and coaches during her unofficial and official visits, and on top of that, the school offers her desired major of Exercise Physiology. She’s not sure exactly what direction she’ll head with that degree in 2024, but expressed a desire to go to graduate school to possibly become a physical or occupational therapist, or perhaps an athletic trainer, depending on which specific parts of the field she grows to love.
To read Dunigan’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/caroline-dunigan-0088302
Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete for week of Nov. 12, 2019
Friday nights were unusually nerveracking for Tim Brown this fall. The Souderton basketball coach cringed every time quarterback Andrew Vince took a hit as he led the Indians to an 8-3 season. Brown’s concern was understandable. After all, Vince was not only a team captain of the basketball team as a junior but also was the Indians’ leading scorer and rebounder. “It was a long football season - I probably doubled the amount of prayers that I typically say on Friday nights to make sure he stayed healthy,” Brown said. “He’s in good shape, he’s ready to go, and we’re pumped about that.”
While Vince’s points and rebounds are undeniably significant, his most important contribution to the team will not be either of those but rather the leadership he will provide. Granted, leadership is a word that’s thrown around a lot in the world of competitive sports, but in the case of Andrew Vince, it is not used loosely. As a junior, the veteran quarterback threw for over a thousand yards, but entering the 2019 season, Souderton coach Ed Gallagher never mentioned any stats when asked about his senior captain. “You talk about a character kid – very rarely do you get a junior captain in any of the major sports, but Andrew Vince was a junior captain in football and a junior captain in basketball,” the Indians football coach said. “That just speaks volumes. When the coaches came in to recruit him in the spring, I didn’t really need to say anything else. That piece of information should be plenty if you know his coaches and peers are electing him as a captain as a junior.”
In the season just completed, Vince – who plans to play collegiate football - threw for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also ran for 247 yards and five touchdowns. There’s no mistaking those numbers were impressive as is the fact that he earned all-league recognition on both sides of the ball, but all of that is secondary to the leadership Vince provided. “Andrew has been the glue that has held our team together all season – he is an outstanding leader on and off the field,” Gallagher said. “He does so many little things that keep everyone together, making them feel like they’re important, and that’s a huge part of a team sport. A huge part of why we were successful this year was the way he was able to incorporate more of our younger guys to buy in to what we were trying to get done.”
Vince - a three-year varsity player in both football and basketball – caught the eye of the upperclassmen on the basketball team early in his career and earned a rare distinction. “They’ve always handed down the number zero (uniform) through our program, and usually, they pass it down to a kid a year younger, but Mike Bealer handed it all the way down to Andrew Vince (at the end of his freshman year) because I think he saw just being around him for those four months that this kid was going to be something special,” Brown said. “Honestly, it did have to do partly with his talent. We all knew he was going to grow his skills over time, but it had to do with his work ethic, it had to do with his personality, his leadership skills, his ability to be a great teammate and just the guy that he is.”
A member of Souderton’s Athletic Leadership Council, Vince is gearing up for his final basketball season. Brown knows his team is in good hands. “Andrew wears it on his sleeve how much he cares about the program, how much he cares about the culture we’re creating that he’s a part of,” the Indians’ coach said. “He was made to be part of a team. He just brings so much positive energy to our group, he brings so much accountability. Honestly, he’s a coach’s dream. You couldn’t mold a better kid than Andrew Vince.”
To read Vince’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/andrew-vince-0088304