Northeast Times

Triple play

For the past two years, Christa Bed­narek has been the team cap­tain for the Rose­mont Col­lege vol­ley­ball, bas­ket­ball and soft­ball squads.

Her time as a col­lege ath­lete is over, but Christa Bed­narek isn’t done com­pet­ing just yet. 

A three-sport ath­lete at Rose­mont Col­lege — and team cap­tain for the Ravens’ vol­ley­ball, bas­ket­ball and soft­ball teams over the past two years — she earned a de­gree in ac­count­ing and busi­ness earli­er this month. 

She plans to stay in the game this sum­mer, though, by re­turn­ing to her in­struc­tion­al du­ties at Ramp Play­ground in Pennypack, help­ing to coach the Phil­adelphia De­part­ment of Re­cre­ation sum­mer camp. 

Bed­narek also coaches the North­east Rock­ers’ bas­ket­ball team for 9-year-old play­ers, and she’s a game ref­er­ee on Sat­urdays for young girls who play in the In­ter­club Bas­ket­ball League. 

“I feel pretty good. Right now I’m just re­lax­ing and try­ing to catch up on sleep,” Bed­narek said of her post-gradu­ation life­style. “I’m ex­cited for the sum­mer. I’ll be pretty busy.”

A North­east nat­ive and product of St. Basil’s Academy High School, Bed­narek will once again spend her sum­mer work­ing with kids at Ramp Play­ground. This is her fourth con­sec­ut­ive sum­mer coach­ing the coed camp. She works with kids between 5 and 13 years of age. 

“The sum­mer camp is a lot of fun,” said Bed­narek. “It’s a day camp where we play sports throughout the day. I love work­ing with the kids. I like just the stuff they say and see­ing their re­ac­tions to everything.”

A long­time com­pet­it­or on the hard­wood, Bed­narek, a 5-foot-5 guard, also keeps busy with the North­east Rock­ers. It’s her third sea­son guid­ing the squad. 

“I played for them while grow­ing up,” ex­plained Bed­narek. “It keeps me in­volved in bas­ket­ball. I like giv­ing back to the kids. The refs and par­ents and oth­er coaches al­ways say they can tell how the girls look up to me and give me their at­ten­tion. They re­spond to us. They’re a crazy bunch of girls but I love them.

“My dad star­ted the North­east Rock­ers,” she ad­ded, re­fer­ring to her fath­er Marty Bed­narek, a bank ex­ec­ut­ive and an un­suc­cess­ful Phil­adelphia City Coun­cil can­did­ate in last week’s Demo­crat­ic primary. “That’s how I got in­volved in coach­ing. I al­ways wanted to stay in­volved with the Rock­ers be­cause it’s a fam­ily club.”

As if coach­ing and help­ing to co­ordin­ate a sum­mer camp wer­en’t enough to keep the re­cent gradu­ate busy this sum­mer, Bed­narek also plans to play in an adult vol­ley­ball league in Oaks, Pa., on Tues­day nights.  

Of course, as a ver­sat­ile ath­lete who gradu­ated with a 3.3 grade-point av­er­age, it’s no sur­prise that Bed­narek is a mas­ter of time man­age­ment. Dur­ing her col­lege ca­reer, she earned a double ma­jor in the classroom and was a team cap­tain for three varsity squads. 

“At times it was over­whelm­ing with all the teams, and school,” she said. “It would be time for soft­ball pre­season, but I was still in bas­ket­ball sea­son. It was tough to bal­ance but it gave me good lead­er­ship skills. I’ll take that for­ward with me.”

Bed­narek ended her col­lege ca­reer with a num­ber of ac­com­plish­ments. A four-year varsity-let­ter play­er on the vol­ley­ball court, Bed­narek broke Rose­mont’s re­cord for as­sists with 840, and she was ranked third in digs with 558. She led her squad in as­sists, with 295, dur­ing her fi­nal sea­son. 

On the bas­ket­ball court, Bed­narek was just as suc­cess­ful, guid­ing the Ravens as team cap­tain for three sea­sons. She led the team in as­sists (65) and steals (50) this winter, and is ranked third in ca­reer as­sists (259). 

On the soft­ball field, Bed­narek earned three varsity let­ters and served as team cap­tain for two years. Play­ing at catch­er and second base, she had a .953 field­ing per­cent­age this sea­son. 

“Now I couldn’t ima­gine not play­ing three sports. They all keep you in shape for one an­oth­er,” ex­plained Bed­narek. “I wouldn’t want to just play vol­ley­ball and then not have any­thing else to do the rest of the year. It keeps my body parts in shape and I get to in­ter­act with three dif­fer­ent groups of girls. It gives you team ca­marader­ie and it keeps your mind al­ways go­ing. 

“I def­in­itely want to keep play­ing and stick with coach­ing,” she ad­ded. “I don’t really want to leave the North­east. I love it here. I was home al­most every week­end when I was at Rose­mont. My friends called me an un­der­cov­er com­muter be­cause I had a room there but I was nev­er there. I just really like the neigh­bor­hood and the people here. It’s home.”  ull;•

Sports ed­it­or Melissa Yerkov can be reached at my­erkov@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at myerkov@bsmphilly.com.

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