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 email@example.com