SPORTS: Three to watch

Written by: Staff

Amit Aburmad

By: Anthony Willis

One of Mercer County Community College’s star soccer players has received a full scholarship to Boston College, where he will transfer to play Division I soccer for the Golden Eagles in the fall.

Aburmad, who is a second-year Business major at Mercer was born in Tel Aviv, Israel and plans to change to an International Business major when he transfers to BC. Academics played a significant part Aburmad’s decision to attend Boston College. He says, “I believe that in the world that we are living in today, with all the new technology and the fast way that our world is moving, international business will best serve my goals in the future.”

Aburmad, a 5’6” midfielder, has been a dominant player for Mercer the past two years. As a freshman, he was named a first-team National Junior College Athletic Association All- American, while also leading his team with 19 goals.  This past season he scored 13 goals and eight assists for the Vikings and was an All-Region XIX first-team selection.

John Simone, Mercer’s Athletics Director and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs describes Aburmad saying, “He is very talented and has great vision on the field.  He plays with a lot of confidence.”

Asked about his recruitment experience, Aburmad said, “After my first season with Mercer we lost in semi finals of the national tournament and our team played very well, a lot of coaches saw us and I started getting offers from big schools from the east coast and the west coast.” Aburmad added “BC was very serious about me and I find it as the best place for me. They play for the ACC so you play against the best schools in the country.”

Aburmad began playing soccer at a very young age.

“My mother always told me that I was kicking balls from the second that I got to this world. When I was a young boy I was out all day outside playing from 7a.m. before school even started, then between classes and after school till the night,” says Aburmad.

Aburmad went on to play for his town’s club team and by high school he was playing on the Israeli national under-18 team. He says of that time, “I played for my club team and did good work and worked hard everyday to try and get my game better.”

Of his time at Mercer Aburmad says, “I hope that I can represent Mercer with a lot of respect. Mercer has played a big part in my enrollment to BC. A big part from my scholarship to BC belongs also to my great teammates and without them none of this would be happening.”

Showana Paul

By: Matthew Nelson

Showana Paul joined the women’s Viking’s basketball team this year after playing for Trenton Central High School, which has had one of Mercer County’s top girls’ basketball teams for the past three seasons.

Paul, who is only 5’2” helped the Vikings finish the regular season with a record of 21-8. They hosted the Region XIX tournament and lost in their first-round game against Burlington 64-59

Playing the point guard position, Paul averaged 3.2 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game this season.  She shot 38.3 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from the free throw line while averaging 15.6 minutes of play per game.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Tenaglia says, “[Paul] comes with a lot of energy, a lot of determination.She’s hard working.  I think if she continues to go about her practice and her business that way, I think she’s going to be a pretty good player next year.”

Tanaglia went on to describe Paul’s abilities saying, “Her speed is probably her biggest asset.  She is very quick.  She should be one of our better players and she should in fact have a real opportunity to start [next year].  Whether she has that or not depends on how much time she puts in and how much understanding she gets out of it.”

While at Trenton Central High School, Paul was coached by Reggie Murray who lead them to defeat Hamilton West High School in the championship game.

“Showana Paul was an outstanding student athlete,” Murray says, adding, “She would stay after practices and do whatever it took to be good.”

Of her skills on the court Murray says, “She wasn’t an exceptionally great player…but there was nobody on the team that could outhustle her.”

Paul says her biggest challenge is maintaining the right attitude.  “When you got a team that expects so much of you, and you may not get it all the time, and you just feel like everything is towards you, it makes you feel really low, so I just put my head down a lot,” she says. But Paul credits Coach Tenaglia with teaching her how to keep her head up high.

Paul’s says her best moment this season was when the Vikings hosted Manor College, of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.  Mercer won the January 5 game by a final score of 65-50.  Although Manor is a highly confident team, Paul says, “We knew that we could beat them.” She adds  that to beat a strong competitor is “the best thing.”

Paul is an Information Technology major.   She hopes to become a Computer Engineer one day.  Meanwhile she hopes to start for the Vikings next year.

Nick Hvasta

By Matthew Longo

A survey was taken of 30 Mercer Students that asked “If you initially don’t like an activity, would you give up on it?” A full 90 percent of students said yes. Nick Hvasta, 19, is among the other 10 per cent.

On January 10, former Mercer student and Lawrence Township resident Nick Hvasta won the Classic League championship. Hvasta defeated opponent Christopher Yolen 266 to 230 and was awarded the $5,000 grand prize which he used to help pay for his tuition at The College of New Jersey.

While bowling is a Hvasta family pastime, the sport did not come naturally to Nick. His father, Nick Hvasta Sr. introduced him to bowling at the age of five, when he brought him to play a game at Colonial Lanes Bowling Alley in Lawrence.

“Bowling was a sport passed down in our family and I felt it was the perfect age to start teaching him the basics” says Hvasta Sr.

But as five-year-old, the frustration of frequent gutter balls and not being able to knock down a single pin, nearly caused Nick to quit. Hvasta Sr. wouldn’t give up, however. He just kept bringing his son to the alley.

Now, even with the busy schedule of a full student of TCNJ, bowling remains a priority for Hvasta. He has learned to balance his bowling with schoolwork has become a leading scorer in his league without letting his GPA suffer.

He plays at both Curtis Lanes in Ewing and Colonial Lanes in Lawrence, playing for the singles league “The Classic League” which features one-on-one matchups between players.

Along with winning a championship, the perfect game Hvasta rolled in September of 2009 is among his proudest moment. “The pressure didn’t hit me until about the seventh or eighth frame,” said Hvasta. “I was on the verge of perfection and I could feel people starting to look on”

Christopher Yolen, whom Hvasta beat for the Classic League Championship says, “[Nick] is a tough opponent but one that is very knowledgeable and respectable of the sport.  He always shows good sportsmanship. Whether win or lose, he’ll walk over after every game and give you a solid handshake”

Hvasta’s statistics have peaked this year.  He is averaging a score of 186 with 6 strikes per game.  He attributes his success to his father who helped him become the bowler he is now through hard work and never giving up.

Hvasta says, “It’s a bit cliché but practice makes perfect, I truly don’t believe I would be successful if it weren’t for all the time I put it practicing.”

 

 

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