Ending the Winter Season
With the start of February comes the end of winter sports at Wheeler. Both boys’ and girls’ teams are wrapping up their seasons and working toward postseason. The girls swim team participated in the sectional prelims on February 1 at Chesterton High School, and swimmers advanced to the sectional championship on February 2. The team placed 7th overall.
Next up, the girls basketball team competed against the Hanover Central Wildcats in an intense game on February 2 in the first round of sectionals. Although the team came up short, they have a lot to be proud of. They improved their record from last year and hope to keep improving in years to come.
The boys wrestling team competed in sectionals on January 26 at Crown Point High School. Three wrestlers - Isaiah Mohmed, Gio Diaz, and Damian Ruoff - moved on to regionals. Mohmed and Diaz both moved on to semi state and qualified for the state meet in Indianapolis on February 15 and 16.
The boys basketball team and boys swim team are both still getting ready for postseason competition. The basketball team has a handful of games left in their regular season, including their senior night on February 15 against Knox and their rivalry game against Boone Grove on February 16.
The boys swim team competed in the sectional prelims at Chesterton High School on February 14 and will have their sectional championships on February 16. Although the bearcats are finishing up winter sports, they have much to look forward to come spring.
All Wheeler choirs in both middle school and high school began preparing for the ISSMA district competition at the beginning of January. The event took place on February 1 at Kankakee Valley Middle School.
Although the choirs weren’t able to practice together the week prior to the competition because of school cancellations, they performed well.
Two high school ensembles qualified for the state competition. The groups will be performing Reel a Bouche by Malcolm Daglish and Les Berceaux by Gabriel Fauré. Both songs are in French and required maximum effort from the singers. They had to practice for hours inside and outside of class to learn the pieces.
Amid all of the chaos resulting from unbearable weather, choir director Pam Hardesty felt the choir dealt with adversity well.
“They want to do the best they can for themselves and each other. This drives them to overcome many things to be the best they can be,” Hardesty said “I am so proud of these students and their accomplishments. They have become a close-knit team. There is nothing I believe they can’t do.”
Lily Bushey, Trey Erny, and Annemarie Miley also qualified for the state competition with their solos, happening February 16.
Senior and future Heidelburg University student Isaiah Mohmed has been working his entire high school career to be in the spot he is now: a wrestling state qualifier. He put in countless hours to achieve this goal.
Mohmed pushed hard his senior season. During his ticket match at the East Chicago Semi-State, he was really put to the test.
Mohmed stayed ahead in the match, boasting a score of 3-2 with 15 seconds left on the clock. Suddenly, he was called for stalling, resulting in his opponent gaining a point and tying the score at 3-3. Mohmed tried his best to stay calm and focused—and he succeeded. He won the ticket match 5-3, qualifying for state for the first time.
“I imagined it as just another wrestling tournament,” Mohmed said. “So I just wrestled my way and didn’t let my nerves get in the way.”
“I just have to go into my matches not worried about winning or losing,” he added. “I need to have fun, wrestle my way, have a good attitude win or lose, and be thankful I got to compete at that level.”
Mohmed first wrestled in 6th grade and said that it wasn’t until 8th grade that he really got into the sport. His time in wrestling has been very impactful, leading Mohmed to devote large amounts time to wrestling both in and out of the season.
“It’s gotten me in better shape and helped me become a better person as well,” he said, giving credit to his teammates and coaches for helping him succeed.
“My coaches pushed me harder than anyone ever has, and I would sometimes hate it, but, in the long run, I knew that it would just make me that much better.”
Luis Guillen couldn’t imagine his life without coaching and teaching. Guillen is a track and cross country coach for Wheeler High School, and a social studies teacher and basketball coach for the middle school.
Guillen didn’t know he wanted to be a teacher until his freshman year in college.
Guillen attended Indiana State University and was unsure about his major when he came home for winter break and visited an old mentor – a former teacher and coach. He realized then that he wanted to do for others what his mentor had done for him.
Before graduating college, Guillen had a few coaching jobs, landing at Wheeler as a track coach in 2008. He was hired as a teacher once he graduated.
Guillen shared that coaching has impacted his life in numerous positive ways and continues to help him get through everyday problems in his life.
“Running has always been a stress reliever, and it’s always keeping people in shape” Guillen said.
As the 2019 track season approaches, Guillen plans to push his athletes to keep achieving and exceeding their goals. He is hoping the boys team will repeat the conference championship title and will push for the girls team to achieve this as well. As for postseason, he hopes to send many individuals to the state meet in late spring.
On a day-to-day basis, he plans to help the team get stronger in the weight room and push them to be as consistent as possible.
“If you’re consistent every day, you get used to that and you’re not as nervous when it comes to big meets,” Guillen said.
After being a part of Wheeler’s community for 10 years, Guillen has grown to be thankful for community spirit and support.
“I’ve met an amazing number of people that are very caring and generous,” Guillen said. “They care about me personally, and that’s something that is very special.”