Favorite athlete: Zach Ertz
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite memory competing in sports: Beating Pennsbury in 2017 to win the SOL National title
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: One of my teammates playing rock, paper, scissors during a play against the other team.
Music on mobile device: Country
Future plans: Play football at Franklin & Marshall Colelge
Words to live by: “Be the hardest working person in the room.”
One goal before turning 30: Graduate Medical School
One thing people don’t know about me: Skiing is my favorite pastime.
By Ed Morrone
Bobby Buchys was named Offensive MVP of the 2018 Neshaminy football team, but he didn’t throw for the most touchdown passes, rush for the most yards or haul in the highest number of receptions.
Those feats would be accomplished by quarterback Brody McAndrew, 1,000-yard rusher Chris James and lead wideout Cory Joyce, respectively. That being said, Buchys brought something immeasurable to the Redskins, something not tabulated by press box reporters and put on to stat sheets and box scores to be celebrated: an edge, a toughness, and most of all, a reliable, dependable player who could always be counted on to show up and do his job.
Buchys was a two-year varsity starter at tight end for Neshaminy, and also played some defensive tackle this past season, his senior campaign. He didn’t earn the respect of his peers because he had the touchdown prowess of Rob Gronkowski or Zach Ertz, the latter being Buchys’ favorite athlete; rather, Buchys was a ferocious blocker, routinely sacrificing his own personal statistical glory for the betterment of the team. He must have been onto something, as Neshaminy went 18-6 overall and 11-1 in SOL National play in Buchys’ two seasons, including a conference title in 2017 and a pair of district playoff berths.
“That recognition is meaningful and special, to be known as the guy that the team could rely on week in and week out on the line,” Buchys said. “It’s something special to be counted on. My mentality every week was figuring out how to help my team in my role as a blocker. Sometimes it would be catching a touchdown or two-point conversion, and other times it was blocking defensive ends or guys from the secondary, or running all over the place pancaking guys.
“It might not be the most glorified role, and there aren’t too many stats in the box score that will measure blocks … but there’s also no better feeling than getting a defensive end’s shoulder and then watching the running back go around the corner and bust one for 80 yards. The running back has the ball in his hands, but you help set up the play and then run down and celebrate as one big team. Whatever I can do to help the team win, I did.”
Buchys’ football memories go back to when he was four or five years old, when he got his start playing flag football. He quickly graduated to the Penndel Wildcats program, beginning with the youth level and advancing through middle school and all the way up to his high school years. Buchys played for Neshaminy’s freshman team in ninth grade and suited up mostly for jayvee as a sophomore, although he did get some opportunities with the varsity special teams unit.
His first varsity campaign was one to remember, as the Redskins knocked off Pennsbury for a conference title and earned the top seed in districts. Although Pennsbury would get revenge on Neshaminy in the postseason, Buchys proved immediately that he belonged on a very strong team.
“Being an underclassman starting for the first time, I remember how fast the game seemed in comparison,” Buchys said. “Thankfully we had a great group of seniors that season, and everything eventually slowed down. That win over Pennsbury was an insane, special atmosphere. Both stands were packed and it was a slugfest, one that we won on a seven-minute drive at the end of the game. It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Even though casual fans may not know Buchys as well as Neshaminy’s quarterback or running back, that doesn’t mean that college coaches didn’t notice his contribution to the team’s success the last two seasons. Several recognized Buchys’ value, and in the end, it was the sterling academic prowess and solid Division-III football program of Franklin & Marshall College that won the Buchys sweepstakes.
“Obviously, they have outstanding academics and high-level football, which is exactly what I was looking for,” Buchys said. “The staff welcomed me with open arms and the team felt like a band of brothers, not just a number on the field.
“As a blocker, it’s hard to get your name out there, so I went to some camps and tried to show off my catching skills since my blocking was already on film. It worked, because Franklin & Marshall reached out to me after they saw me at a camp. They saw me catch a few balls, and the rest is history. I’m really excited for the fall.”
And one thing should be made perfectly clear, if it wasn’t already: it’s not as if Buchys can’t catch the ball. Allow his head coach to explain.
“He can catch it, we just didn’t use him to catch it a lot,” Neshaminy head coach Steve Wilmot said. “He had a touchdown this season against North Penn and a couple of two-point conversions.
“Bobby was invaluable as a blocker for us, despite being not the bulkiest guy and a little undersized. We could always count on him, game in and game out. He was an unsung hero for us. Without Bobby, Chris James doesn’t rush for 1,000 yards; without Bobby, we can’t establish the kind of running game we did. He just did a phenomenal job blocking for us.”
For his part, even if he is a little biased, Wilmot believes Buchys can step on the field and immediately help Franklin & Marshall as a freshman.
“When you talk to him, he’s a quiet and humble kid,” Wilmot said. “The type of kid that is always doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching. He’s not going to win any awards for inspirational speeches, but he’s a leader on the field and in the school, and what he does speaks a lot louder than what comes out of his mouth, which is a good thing.
“What I’ll miss about coaching Bobby is that he’s the type of kid I never had to worry about because I always knew that whatever he was supposed to be doing, he was doing it the right way. As a player, I would only have to tell him how to do something once; he would process it, try it, and then he just got it to the point where it became automatic. I never had to tell Bobby Buchys the same thing twice, because he always got it right the first time.”
Being a tremendous run blocker on the football field, while valuable, is not enough to gain one admission to a school with an academic reputation as strong as Franklin & Marshall’s. That’s no problem for Buchys, who boasts a GPA above 4.0. He plans on being a pre-medicine major, with his ultimate sights set on attending medical school after Franklin & Marshall.
It should be no surprise to hear that Buchys - whose primary function on the Neshaminy football team was to help make the team’s explosive offensive players’ jobs easier - is interested in becoming a doctor because he loves to help people.
“Being able to help others and finding fulfillment in going to work every day, that’s the ultimate goal,” Buchys said. “I want to go to work and be able to help someone in need. My parents are both real hard workers and kind of instilled that in me, and my sisters are both in college and pursuing the medical track as well. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but it will be worthwhile to turn my dreams into reality.”
Buchys’ altruism extends beyond just his desired career choice. In addition to his football responsibilities, Buchys is also a class officer at Neshaminy, meaning he has his hand in virtually all key school events, from proms to food drives to class trips to an event called the Healing Hearts Foundation Run.
“I enjoy the sense of fulfillment that helping others brings me,” he said. “It gives me a warm feeling in my heart to be able to plan something fun and put a smile on someone else’s face.”
During the winter, Buchys loves to go on ski trips with his family to the Poconos, even going as far as calling skiing his favorite pastime. When the weather warms up as it’s starting to do now, Buchys trades the slopes for the beach. He’s also involved outside of school with the Bucks County Challenger Program, which teaches football to children with disabilities, usually over the weekend.
“Seeing the smiles on those kids’ faces, there’s no better feeling,” he said.
All of this added up to one heck of a student-athlete high school experience for Buchys. He may not have been the most talented player on the Neshaminy roster, but his presence was absolutely vital to his team’s success. He may not be the flashiest player, but he didn’t need to be when he performed his job at such a reliable rate.
Getting an education and continuing to play football at a school like Franklin & Marshall has Buchys excited for the next chapter, but at the same time, he understands he never would have reached this point if not for the growth and personal development he experienced at Neshaminy the last four years.
“Through all of my activities, I’ve gotten to connect with almost everyone at school,” he said. “I think back a lot to the connections and friendships I’ve made, ones that I wouldn’t have made otherwise. Through football, I created bonds for life. When I think back to my strongest relationships and friendships, I’ll always think back to Neshaminy.
“To be honest, I can’t say I’ll miss any of it, just because I want to appreciate the tradition and the mark I was able to leave behind on this community. Neshaminy has some of the best people in the area, and every single one of them means the world to me. When I come back, I know I’ll be welcomed back with open arms, because we’re all bonded by something so strong. There really is no place like Neshaminy.”