Univest Featured Athletes (Wk. 2-3-21)

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. 3, 2021


Mia Salvati has quietly and without fanfare been a major contributor to the success of the Central Bucks East basketball team. In the Patriots’ recent win over Pennsbury, the senior point guard put up Ben Simmons-like numbers, coming within two rebounds of a triple double. Salvati finished with 11 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, but nobody really noticed. Not even her coach. “The last couple of years we’ve use Hudl Assist,” said East coach Liz Potash of a program that sends game statistics the following day. “We don’t keep stats on the bench, so we watch what the game flow is, and I always have a feel after the game when kids have a good game, but when I woke up the next morning and saw the complete breakdown of the Pennsbury game – that’s an unbelievable stat line. Mia had a hand in 33 of the points that our team scored out of 44, and I know a couple of those were 3s. She just does so much for us, but you don’t necessarily notice it. It’s not flashy. She gets the job done, and it’s just a steady game.”


Potash admits she thought of the Ben Simmons comparison when she saw Salvati’s stat line. “I actually didn’t want to compare her to Ben Simmons because Mia’s got a real nice outside shot, and she takes it,” the Patriots’ coach said. “She definitely has had games where she has been our high scorer, but she generally just gets the job done. I don’t take it for granted because it’s very tough to play without a point guard. We’ve had years where you have to have someone run the point, but she is a point guard in every sense.”


A two-year captain, the soft-spoken Salvati has grown into the role of vocal leader. “I don’t really talk that much,” the East senior said. “Obviously, as a captain, you have to be a role model and a leader for the underclassmen. I slowly came out of my shell. Basketball has definitely helped with that.” The change has not been lost on Potash. “She’s become way more vocal than she used to be,” the Patriots’ coach said. “She was so quiet. I think the first two years of the program I hardly heard her talk. Last year, she was a captain and talked a little bit more, and towards the second half of the season, I let her call the plays, which I don’t usually do, but she’d been around so long, and she sees things on the floor. I said, ‘You make the call. If there’s anything I want, I’ll call it, but if not, it’s all you.’ She became such a smart player and has such a good feel for the game and just totally controls the game for us.”


Salvatti also excels in the classroom and is a member of the National Honor Society.

In the fall, she will be attending James Madison University where she hopes to play club basketball. She will major in health sciences with a goal of becoming an occupational therapist. “I really like working with kids, and through doing research, it looks like occupational therapy will give me that opportunity,” she said. Salvati’s enjoyment working with children was underscored when it came time to choose her favorite basketball memory for her team’s Senior Night celebration. She didn’t name a big win or a big performance but rather seeing her team of young campers win the championship at East’s annual camp for the community. “She’s a really good kid,” Potash said. “We were always excited about her coming into the program because of what I saw when she was younger, but she’s just gotten better every year. She’s very kind, she’s a very good teammate. She keeps everything organized for us, and she communicates with the rest of the team when there’s something going on. She does so much for us. She’s a good kid from a good family.”


To read Salvati’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/mia-salvati-0092804



Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete for week of Feb. 3, 2021


Along Bristol Pike in Croydon, Bucks County -- in the shadow of a cemetery -- sits the legendary Bristol Pike Lanes. The longstanding sights of scorecards and the sounds of the crashing pins, and the feel of bowling balls and the traditional tastes of the snack stand, are woven into the DNA of one Jackson Ryan. “I’d say I’m probably here about five or the seven days of the week,” said Ryan, the youngest of four kids from the nest of Joyel and Jim Ryan II. A senior at Harry S. Truman high school, Ryan can trace his roots – on both his father’s (Ryan) and mother’s (Blackburn) branches of the family tree – to bowling at Bristol Lanes the way others can to, say, Ellis Island. “My grandparents used to bowl - I would say it’s been in our family for about 75-80 years,” he estimated. That’s a lot of success in a lot of leagues, with a lot of trophies in the trophy case. But Ryan has still broken the mold.


Literally, he will be taking it to a new level by bowling for Midway University in Midway, Kentucky (it can be found on a map at the midway point between the Bluegrass State’s two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington). “After talking to their captain, I feel like I’m leaving home to go home,” said Ryan. “When I first met the coach (Michael Hall), I had a niece who was just turning one at the time. When I first got back in touch with him this past year, the first thing he said was: ‘How is your family? How is your niece?’ I hadn’t talked to him in about a year. I thought it was surprising that he even remembered my name.”


The opportunity comes by virtue of stellar summertime performances on the Junior circuit, putting him on the radar of college coaches at a time when collegiate bowling is “more of a thing.”With how much the sport has grown in the last 10-20 years, opportunities began to arise for youth bowlers to take their game to the next level, which would be collegiately,” Ryan said. “Out of my family, I’ll be the first one to take that next step that my grandparents, even my parents, never had the chance to take.”


“To see his growth and his leadership, and to see the type of young man he has grown into today, has been absolutely amazing to witness,” Truman coach Jess Schulz said. “As a freshman, he came onto the team a little immature and a little cocky,” she said. “He said that he was going to make a spot for himself on varsity. At the time, while the squad was pretty set, he really had to show growth and maturity and he did. He became a varsity starter. From that point on, he showed leadership. He wasn’t caring about his own game, but the games of his teammates. He really has become the overall leader on this squad.” Recalled Ryan of his metamorphosis: “I told all the kids on varsity that I was taking their spot. Over the last three years, I’ve taken a role as almost an additional coach on the team. I try to help the team as much as I can.”


As much as Ryan lives at Bristol Lanes, he finds time for baseball (plans to play second base or in the outfield this season), stands in as a parent for Senior Night and excels in the classroom. Ryan, whose class rank after his junior year was 21st in a class of 346 students, did not take the SAT because of COVID but soared through all the other standardize testing with flying colors. Ryan is also in the prestigious Varsity Club (above 3.8 and at least three years on a varsity team) and, outside of school, is a member of the USBC (United States Bowling Congress) as a youth director.


To read Ryan’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/jackson-ryan-0092805