Glenbard West Varsity Football Program Strives for Success


Jay Thomas carrying. Photo credit to Jacob Lachs, staff writer.

“Hard work drives the success of the team” seemed to be a repeating statement during my interview with Rhett Peirce, a Sophomore on Glenbard West’s Varsity Football Team. It doesn’t matter “if we’re on the field, or lifting weights”, or doing any myriad of other activities the team engages in to strive for success. We must “give it 110%” no matter what we’re doing in order to succeed.

This isn’t a philosophy exclusive to Rhett. Hard work is a strong belief held by our entire varsity team. It’s one of the reasons our school ends up being so successful, at least according to our athletes. It’s the hard work that allows our athletes to succeed – success such as Jay Thomas’ last second Touchdown to defeat Downer Grove North on October 8th, for instance.

This philosophy has led to unprecedented records in that past: in 2019-20, the Varsity Hitters only lost one game, leading to a state rank of 20. Go a little further back, and in 2012-13, they were undefeated! This gave the squad a number 1 rank in the state at the time. 

Many attribute the Hitters success to their longtime coach, Chad Hetlet – a man who has never coached a losing season. In an interview with coach Hetlet, the idea of striving for success was discussed: in order to become successful, “our players have worked hard since June, when we started camp. As a team we have done well in the classroom as well as on the field. We are working hard at practice to get better every  week.” The coach made sure to shout out West’s football fandom, the “Castle Crazies”. 

The Varsity Hitters have also overcome many obstacles, and many ‘rough’ years – most of these years are simply losing a single game. Specific to this year: the stress of the pandemic seems to be the leading obstacle. In order to combat Sars-Cov2, the team wears masks when needed, distance themselves when necessary, and follow the CDC’s recommendations on the sickness. In the aforementioned interview with coach Hetlet, this topic was discussed. “We missed our Varsity team trip to Winona State and really had no off-season to lift”, the coach brought up. We “also had a very short season this past spring and that has limited development as well.” 

Our Varsity squad is set to take on Hinsdale Central this upcoming Saturday (10/23) at 1:30, in an epic (home game) duel – be sure to wish our players luck, and congratulate them on all the hard work they have put in this season!