Favorite athlete: Hines Ward
Favorite team: Steeler and Phillies
Favorite memory competing in sports: Winning a District One championship in football
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: Once when playing youth intramural basketball, I almost scored on the wrong basket.
Music on your iPod: All different kinds – country, rap, pop, etc.
Words to live by: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” –Wayne Gretzky
One goal before turning 30: Have a steady job and travel the world.
One thing people don’t know about me: I love to ski.
By Mary Jane Souder
Max Weinberg might want to consider a future in law. The Upper Dublin senior certainly proved at a young age that he possesses the power of persuasion.
Consider only the impact his persuasion letter written as a fourth grade assignment had on his mother and – ultimately – his high school experience.
“I’ve played baseball pretty much my whole life, and I begged my mother to play football,” Weinberg said. “She just didn’t want me to play.
“In school, we had to write a persuasive letter, and my persuasive letter was to play football. From then on I played football, and now I think my mother loves it just as much as I do.”
Weinberg is a two-way player for a Flying Cardinal squad that captured a share of the SOL American Conference title. A starter on both the offensive and defensive lines, Weinberg – who gained valuable experience as the sixth lineman on last year’s District One Quad A championship squad – is a leader up front.
“He’s really become a coach on the field for us,” coach Bret Stover said. “He gets things really quickly, and he helps bring everybody along with him.
“He’s one of our communicators on the front line, and he’s done a real nice job for us this year.”
On last year’s senior-heavy squad, Weinberg filled in when there was an injury and started a playoff game during the Cardinals’ magical postseason run that captured the imagination of the entire Upper Dublin community.
“It was unlike anything I have ever seen,” Weinberg said. “It kind of felt like we were playing in Texas.
“It was just a lot of fun. The guys above us were so good, and everyone just rallied around us. Everyone put in so much work – the coaches, the players. All the fans – family, friends and alumni – just kind of came around us. It was just a really fun time. It was a great ride.”
Last year’s practices provided learning experiences for Weinberg – who regularly found himself lined up opposite first team all-league lineman Isaiah Henrich, who is now playing football at East Stroudsburg University.
“Every day I’d go against Isaiah – it was a long year,” Weinberg said with a laugh. “It always helps to go up against guys like Isaiah, Henry (Winebrake), Kane O’Connor and Jack (Rapine) because they were some of the best to ever play at Upper Dublin. Every day at practice they’d go out and make you better.
“They were all hard workers, they all listened to our coaches, they all spent hours and hours in the weight room, and we just carried on that tradition of working hard and just doing the right things.
With just two returning starters from last year’s title squad, the Flying Cardinals could have written this season off as a rebuilding year. That didn’t happen.
“We learned a lot from that group last year, and we stepped it up this year,” Weinberg said. “We knew we had people behind them who could play. We were just waiting for our turn.”
Weinberg got his first taste of competitive football playing for the Upper Dublin Junior Athletic Association as a fourth grader. He began as a quarterback and tight end, but as he continued to grow, it wasn't long before he moved to the line.
“I kept getting slower and slower,” he said. “It was kind of a natural progression.”
Baseball has been part of Weinberg’s life for as long as he can remember, and last year, he saw varsity playing time for an Upper Dublin squad that captured the SOL American Conference title. He also earned the respect of his coach.
“Max is really a fantastic kid who just loves to play,” coach Ed Wall said. “After his sophomore year, he learned the importance of hard work.
“He dedicated himself to become a better player for the football and baseball teams. Last season, Max worked his way from a role player to a varsity starter and played catcher, third base and first base. He earned that opportunity through the extra work he put in before school on the diamond and after practice getting more reps in the cage. Wherever Max plays this spring, he’ll be ready with a smile.”
That smile undoubtedly comes from the enjoyment Weinberg receives from competing in a sport he loves while playing alongside his lifelong friends.
“The cool thing is it’s the same group of guys that play both sports,” said Weinberg, who also plays for Fort Washington American Legion and rattles off a list of classmates who play both football and baseball. “We all play baseball, we all play football together, and we’ve just become such a close group throughout high school.”
This year’s football season had its ups and downs. When the Cardinals fell to Plymouth Whitemarsh, it looked as though they’d lost out on a chance to win the program’s third straight conference crown. They got a reprieve when Quakertown handed PW its first conference loss in its regular season finale. The loss gave the Cardinals a share of the conference title.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Weinberg said. “I love my teammates - we’re like one big family. It was tough after the PW loss because you think there goes our chance of a Suburban One title, there goes out chance to win three in a row.
“Our coaches kept us focused and kept us thinking – if we do what we can, there’s still a chance. We kept that mindset and did our jobs because we knew if we won out we would have a good chance of getting a high seed and doing well in the playoffs.”
While Weinberg settled for a supporting role last season, he’s been in the middle of the action this year.
“He’s had some really, really good solid games,” Stover said. “Statistically, he doesn’t have nine tackles or 10 sacks or anything like that in a game, but he’s always where he’s supposed to be, which as a coach in our schemes is of the utmost importance.
“He’s one of those kids – he didn’t get selected captain, but he didn’t go and pout about it. He continues to lead by example, doing his job and helping the young kids.”
Weinberg’s contributions to the football team don’t end on the gridiron.
“He’s helping kids off the field in study hall, tutoring a couple of our guys,” Stover said. “That’s the kind of kid he is.”
For Weinberg – an excellent student who takes honors and AP classes, it’s just another way to help his team.
“I just do my best in the classroom, and I saw that some of teammates were struggling,” he said. “How it works is once they’re doing poorly in a subject for a couple of weeks, they go on academic probation, and they’re not allowed to play.
“So I found a time where we could meet up and just get them on the right track, so we could keep them on the field.”
Weinberg plans to major in engineering and lists the University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech as his top two schools. He has already been accepted at Pitt.
A member of Upper Dublin’s student government, Weinberg spends a lot of his spare time on offseason workouts for football and baseball, although he acknowledges this will probably be his final year of playing competitive sports.
“I hate to hear that, but I think it is,” he said. “The schools where I would be able to play football or baseball I don’t really want to go to.
“I would be perfectly fine playing club or intramural sports at whatever college I go to.”
That being said, Weinberg wouldn’t have wanted to miss a minute of his high school athletic experience.
“It’s added more than I could ever imagine,” he said. “It’s helped me meet new people, it’s new experiences, it’s made me work harder than I ever thought I would, it’s made me care more than I ever thought I could - after the PW loss, I don’t think I have ever been that distraught.
“Sports teach you so many lessons you wouldn’t learn without them, just working as a team and coming together for a common goal.”