Successful season leaves wrestlers hopeful for next year


The theme of this year’s wrestling season was many things but predictable. 

This season, head coach Patrick Heffernan led his team to a season to be proud of with a record of 15-5. This was surprising to many including the coach himself. The team had lots of young potential with only one returning senior. “It was fun to watch the young guys take control and get better and better each week,” said Heffernan.

Many of the young wrestlers stepped up this season including RJ Wilson, Oliver Chapman, Nabiel Rosario and Andrew and Matthew Brendel. Wilson discussed more on the team dynamic, “This year we had a better team since we lost the seniors. More people stepped up filing their spots.”

Wilson elaborated that with 6 seniors leaving, there was lots of opportunity for the younger athletes.

These opportunities were quickly taken and the team made quick progress. Although they did not win, they came very close to Immaculate Conception High School, losing by only 30 points in Regionals. 

Wilson also shared more on how many injuries were seen this season. “The hardest part of the season was pushing past injuries.” 

Emmett Jeske had a very different experience this year than last. From qualifying to state to watching his team grow this season. “I had to learn how to support the team in the best way possible.” Nevertheless the entire team grew from the beginning of the season.

The season proved challenging at times. They lacked the expertise of several other teams due to the large number of young wrestlers and had a lot of space to develop. Yet they played fiercely against Saint Carmel High School, who were ranked first in the state. Although this match did not go their way, it helped show how much they are capable of. Ultimately, they won the Walter Christian tournament for the second consecutive year.

The season brought many wins and mostly gave the athletes a sense of anticipation for what is to come. “The guys are already working for next year and excited for how good we can be,” says coach Heffernan.

The program has high hopes for the new eighth graders that are set to come wrestle. There will not only just be new wrestlers, but new goals. The coaches look forward to the team qualifying for state and contending for regionals next year.

This team has only scratched the surface of what they are capable of and the community at DePaul Prep is eager to see what is in store since they have great things to come.