by Cate Murway
Every race is a test of courage. For 800m runners to achieve their goals and realize their full potential, they must take that test. A gym coach at St. Mark School thought Samuel Michael Cavanagh, BHS ’07 was “slacking”, running behind, and actually, his classmates were being lapped!
“Out the door
Just in time
Head down the 405
Gotta meet the new boss by 8 am”
National Honor Society student Sam starts his day at 5:30 a.m. for his chosen option of a fun, flexible way to make some money and get exercise too- delivering the Bucks County Courier Times, maintaining 2 routes! He’s out the door, just in time, “got his routine down” and then heads for his first period class, Nutrition [first semester]/ Sociology [this semester] for the BCCC courses offered at BHS which begin during the homeroom period. He concentrates on his studies and balances a hefty academic schedule that includes [his favorite] Physics, Advanced Chemistry, Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus.
Fueled with enthusiasm for competition, athletics consume his afternoon. He handled wide receiver/defensive back duties with tackling drills for freshman year football but has since opted to continue his running career year round. Coach Jim Jones ‘BHS ’59 is pleased. “Sam is a very hard worker. He gives everything he has all the time. He’s a ½ miler with a strong pace and a good kick.”
Captain Sam expertly took over the summer practices when Coach Jones had his end of June knee surgery. His idealistic concept capacity is to be inspirational and he has proven the ability to lead merely by his own example. He had the Cross Country team “meet @ the fountain [in the Lagoon Park on Jefferson Avenue] and run through the town, even making weekly runs to the [Tullytown] Home Depot.” He is very modest concerning his accomplishments. Sam was named to the Courier Times Honorable Mention indoor track Golden Team for the T&FCAofGP Division 2. The indoor season demands extra commitment with lengthy meets and distant competitions at Widener and Lehigh Universities and Haverford College. He has potently anchored the season and Penn Relay 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams [ran a respectable 3:52.47 in the Suburban B heat on Saturday at Franklin Field], usually comprised of underclassmen. Another preferred winter sport was basketball until this year when he left the court and aimed for the alley to join his friends at bowling, one of the largest participatory sports in the world. He admits, at first he “was terrible” but improved his game to a 264 score!
Sam has always lived in the Borough and is the solo athlete in his family, having participated in soccer,basketball and track through the St. Mark Elementary School programs. His supportive parents, General Motors parts distributor Michael Dennis, who attended Delhaas but graduated from Maple Heights H.S., Ohio ’75 when his father was transferred, and his mom, St. Mark School Instructional Aide, Therese Eileen [Carroll], Neshaminy H.S. ’76 met in a club in Lawrenceville, N.J. His grandparents Bill and Dolores Carroll still live in Levittown but many of his Aunts and Uncles have been Borough residents. His older sister, freelance graphic designer, Lauren Therese, BHS ‘02/ Dean’s List student Arcadia ’06 is currently employed as a sales rep and supervisor for Bucks County Cleaning, a commercial cleaning company on Jefferson Avenue.
The entire family recently took an all-inclusive vacation to the Occidental Grand Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic after his father participated in the 98.1 WOGL [greatest classic hits of the 60’s & 70’s] Double Vacation-A-Day station contest to the Caribbean.
Athletics is not Sam’s only passion- his life goal is the medical degree specialty of Radiology, directing medical imaging technologies to diagnose and treat diseases. He will be attending Gwynedd-Mercy College in Gwynedd Valley this fall, one of the 9 selected students enrolled in the School of Allied Health Professions for Radiology, blending classroom and clinical experience. He will receive expert teaching from college faculty as well as clinical instructors and supervisors at affiliated institutions. Sam maintains a 96+ average and the applicants must be proficient in both math and science. Like most physicians, radiologists spend much of their young lives in training with four years of college and four more of medical school. After medical school comes another five years of residency.
Apparently Sam, part time dishwasher, is not fearful of hard work. Dawn Kelch, owner of The Kelch House Eatery, boasts, “Sam is the only original Kelch House employee. He is a hard working, quiet guy. People don’t want to work hard these days, so this is a tribute to him.” He also works as a line attendant at Northtec, Inc., a cosmetic and toiletries manufacturer in the Keystone Industrial Park.
With school, sports and three jobs, he has little “spare” time for television but he does have one favorite program. Not surprisingly, it’s “Scrubs", which focuses on the strange healing career experiences and the professional and personal lives of several characters working at Sacred Heart Hospital, a fictional teaching hospital. He feels he relates best to South Orange, N.J. native, Zach Braff who is cast in the role of Dr. John Michael "J.D." Dorian. Aspiring to invest in the stock market as soon as he blows out his 18 candles, he sets aside time to watch James J. [Jim] Cramer’s personal finance show, “Mad Money”. Looking for guidance to develop a strict set of investing disciplines, he participates in “Beat the Street”, going “head-to-head against Wall Street’s best!”, testing his trading skills without losing a penny of his own. A birthday gift from his parents was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. A book written in an entertaining anecdotal manner to make finances interesting, advocates financial independence by means of investing, real estate, owning businesses, and the use of finance protection tactics.
As for foods, he enjoys the delectable deep Sea cold-water treat, crab legs at the Hong Kong King Buffet in Fairless Hills but admits that his mom’s meatloaf is truly the best!
Literally on the “fast track”, student athlete Doctor-to-be, aspiring novice day trader Sam sets a quick pace, always keeping his sight on the “finish line”.
“No I can’t do this all on my own
No I know
That I'm no
I’m no superman
I’m no superman”
[“Scrubs” theme song "Superman" lyrics by Lazlo Bane]
To recommend a Bristol borough youth to be spotlighted: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org