Dukes ranked number one in MaxPreps 2022 fall athletic rankings
March 22, 2022
This fall the York Dukes had a season full of historic feats (including two state championships) and the state has been put on notice; as popular sporting site “MaxPreps” has the Dukes seated at the number one spot for fall athletics in Illinois.
“I’m very proud of our athletic program, mostly our student athletes and our coaches,” Athletics Director Rob Wagner said. “It’s been a very successful school year, not only coming back from a pandemic, but what kids have done and been so motivated in athletics. Our participation numbers are off, and our success in the fall sports, winning two state titles as a big deal.”
These student athletes have put in so much effort both in and out of season. The hard work has truly paid off and they are very proud of where they rank. Jose Hererra, junior captain of the boys state soccer team, is among those most amped up for the 2022-23 season.
“It feels amazing having that number one spot,” Hererra said. “We worked very hard for it and look forward to proving why we are ranked where we are.”
While being at that top spot has proved to be very rewarding, athletes are aware of the quotas that come with the ranking.
“We’re going to have a large target on our backs; but to live up to it we have to stay humble and work everyday and train everyday,” Herrera said.
Similar sentiments were shared by members of the nationally ranked girls cross country team. The girls have high expectations of being not only number one in the state, but also number four in the nation. Sophomore, Katherine Klimek, was top runner on the state team.
“Next year is a new year and I know we have that number one on our backs, but we will have to go work for it again because it all resets,” Klimek said.
Although the added spotlight on the squads has become an overwhelming reality, student athletes have reason to be very proud after representing the Duke name at such a high accord.
“We thought it was really important to represent Elmhurst at nationals, because I don’t think the girls team had gone to nationals before, so we thought it was a really good way to represent our school,” sophomore cross country runner Maggie Owens said.
All this success has brought great pride to York athletes, but it’s important to recognize the factors that contributed to such an awarding season.
“I think the success is due to a couple things,” Wagner said. “The coaches and athletes were working really hard over the COVID-19 time period, many other schools took the time off, and I know our athletes put in the time to prepare for this fall season, even during the pandemic.”
The hard work in the off season was a major factor in the program-wide success. Motivation and excitement of returning to York athletics after the year long hiatus, also played a large role in the athletic success.
“I think we had extra motivation after last year, because we went to this state championship, but it wasn’t really official, so we really had a lot of motivation to go and have that official season,” Klimek said.
The York athletic program is able to prepare student athletes for success, and staff members play a large role in challenging athletes and keeping them motivated.
“It’s very difficult to find good coaches, and people who are willing to put in the extra work, but the coaches that we have in place are fantastic,” Wagner said. “We did the maximum of what we could do and made great use of time that we had.”
York is very fortunate to have coaches and facilities that promote sportsmanship and athletic improvement. The athletic program has an upper hand on many other schools because we are fortunate to have faculty that supports students on and off the field.
“It’s been a great year and I am very proud of all of our student athletes and coaches for all of their hard work,” Wagner said.