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. 19, 2019
No athlete likes dealing with injuries, and Morgan D’Angelo is no different. However, according to Central Bucks East volleyball coach Kerri Rabberman, D’Angelo wears her scars like a badge of honor, and there are no lengths the senior wouldn’t go to if it meant sacrificing her body for the betterment of her team. As a libero — better known as the defensive leader on the volleyball court — D’Angelo is no stranger to being physically banged up. Anyone that has played the position understands how physically demanding the job description is, and it’s never a surprise to see a libero constantly throw themselves to the deck if it means keeping the ball in play for the rest of the team to have an opportunity to score a point. It is by no means the most glamorous or heralded position on the court, so in this case, it fits the unselfish D’Angelo’s personality like a glove.
“She loves the battle wounds because they show how hard she plays,” Rabberman said. “The last two years, this is a girl who always had an injury, but you’d never know it because she always powered through. The other girls noticed that commitment and how she carries herself, and as a result, they want to be like her. Her actions have always spoken louder than her words. She’s just an amazing player — and person — to have on our team. She was a team captain the last two seasons, as well as the captain of our back row. Morgan isn’t the player who gets kills at the net every time, but she saves points left and right. She took that role and just went with it. Morgan has earned every rep she’s ever worked for and has just impressed me constantly.”
Morgan was a four-year varsity player for the Patriots, though it took her time to get to the point where she was a starting libero and captain. She didn’t play much her freshman season, then saw the court a bit more frequently as a sophomore. As a junior, she survived a bout with mononucleosis and was on the court for the first match. Once D’Angelo finally became entrenched as the team’s starting libero, she wouldn’t let it go. Rabberman estimated that D’Angelo was on the court for 95 to 99 percent of every match she played, and it would have been 100 if rules didn’t prevent the same player from serving every single time.
D’Angelo attacks her studies in the classroom with the same ferocity as she does on the court. As a student, she’s always been drawn to the science classes, and once she gets to college — most likely to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where she has already been accepted — D’Angelo plans to study communication disorders with the ultimate goal of entering the field of pediatric audiology or speech pathology. It turns out she has a condition of her own that has made her deaf in one ear since she was 11, and she wants to pay it forward to kids suffering similar afflictions, the same way her doctors did for her.
D’Angelo holds down an after school job at a local bakery, The Lucky Cupcake, and is also very involved in Key Club, which provides volunteer opportunities in the community. One of those has been working with Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that works to eradicate hunger and poverty. Additionally, D’Angelo helps coach one of her former club volleyball teams, East Coast Power. She isn’t someone who will be easily replaced at East, on or off the court. Just take it from her head coach. “She wasn’t just my player - she’s my family,” Rabberman said. “I’m so proud of her, and I know she’s going to go off and do so well. Her determination, dedication, that instant smile she could bring to anyone’s face, she just had a persona and a presence that nobody will be able to replace.”
To read D’Angelo’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/female/morgan-dangelo-0088337
Univest’s SuburbanOneSports.com Featured Male Athlete for week of Nov. 19, 2019
It was a moment that went unnoticed by everyone. Everyone except the two people involved. On the Central Bucks West sidelines in a rapidly emptying HersheyPark Stadium, Kirk Ransome sought out his coach. The Bucks’ storybook postseason had just come to an end in a 2-0 loss to a favored North Penn squad in the PIAA 4A state title game. “Obviously, you lose the state final, there’s emotion going around, disappointment and dismay,” West coach Stefan Szygiel said. “Kirk comes up to me and sticks out his hand, kind of gives me a hug and says, ‘Stef, thanks for giving me a shot. These have been the best four years of my life.’” Ransome wasn’t a headliner. As a matter of fact, the West senior saw very few meaningful minutes as a back-up goalie to senior standout Ryan Van Pelt, a reality he was well aware of before his final high school season began. Ransome, however, understood and appreciated exactly how significant it was that he had been given the opportunity to be part of the West program, an opportunity he has never taken for granted since the moment he found out he made the team as a freshman.
“Stef told me, ‘I cut two juniors for you. I’m giving you an opportunity to be on the team. I hope you’re worth it,’” Ransome said. “I just couldn’t be happier that he made that choice and put me on the team.” It’s a decision Szygiel certainly hasn’t regretted. “I think it’s a great example of an unsung hero type of situation,” the West coach said of Ransome. “It goes back to one word – buy-in. Here you have a guy who is a senior and knows there’s another senior in front of him who’s going to get the nod as the starting guy. You don’t hear a peep out of him. He continues to show up day in day out to help the program. How does he do that? He raises the level of training, he helps prepare (Ryan) Van Pelt for game day, all things you’re never going to hear about. We have a lot of guys like that. This situation with Kirk is four years biding his time and knowing as a senior that Ryan Van Pelt was still going to be the guy. It didn’t affect his psyche at all. He came in this year – honestly, this boy could start for a lot of teams in the district.”
Ransome combined with Luke Shank to post a shutout in his lone start of the season on Senior Night against Quakertown, and whether on the field or on the sidelines, the senior keeper enjoyed every minute of his final high school season that saw the Bucks – seeded 23rd in the 24-team District One 4A field – earn a state berth and advance to the state title game. “It meant the world to be on a team that was able to go as far as the state final,” Ransome said. “Just to be on a team that always rallied around each other and just continued to find a way to win – it was an incredible experience, especially my senior year, the last season of my career. It couldn’t have ended better, and I couldn’t have asked for better teammates around me.”
Ransome plans to continue playing soccer for as long as he can whether it be for a collegiate team or at the intramural or club level. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he will be reunited with his twin brother Kipp on the soccer field. “He still plays soccer – just not for West,” Ransome said. “If I end up playing for the same college or university that he does, I think it would be a blast to go out for an intramural or club team and play soccer with him.” Ransome is looking at Villanova, St. Joseph’s and Lafayette for academics. He is also applying to smaller schools like Gettysburg and Ursinus. He is considering a business/finance major and may incorporate mathematics as well. An excellent student, Ransome is a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club and the World Affairs Club at West. He has worked at the YMCA summer camps and is working with the Club After 2 program, an after-school program at the YMCA for individuals with mental and physical disabilities.
To read Ransome’s complete profile, please click on the following link: https://www.suburbanonesports.com/featured-athletes/male/kirk-ransome-0088338