Pioneer Press Boys Volleyball Player of the Year: David Wieczorek

SHARE Pioneer Press Boys Volleyball Player of the Year: David Wieczorek

As long as he could remember, David Wieczorek has been playing volleyball.

Wieczorek and his father, Al Wieczorek, regularly play pepper, a simple drill of passing the ball back and forth between partners. Al Wieczorek started playing volleyball when he was a teenager. When he became a young father, he joined an adult club team called Chicago Coast. Eventually, David Wieczorek tagged along.

David Wieczorek played pepper with other members of Chicago Coast and even joined their hitting line before matches, sometimes wearing a No. 101 jersey as the team’s ball boy. When Chicago Coast won a national championship in 2009, eighth-grader David Wieczorek joined the team picture standing next to his dad.

David Wieczorek’s experience with his dad helped him develop a passion for the game and become one of the state’s top players. David Wieczorek, a 6-foot-7 senior outside hitter, is the Pioneer Press Boys Volleyball Player of the Year after leading Loyola to the sectional finals this season.

He tallied 542 kills this season, which is the 10th most in state history in a single season, and his career total of 1,263 kills ranks sixth all-time, according to the IHSA. He served 61 aces on the season.

“I’ve been in the gym as long as I can remember. My dad still plays [USA Volleyball tournaments],” David Wieczorek said. “I go with him all the time. It’s cool; they let me hit.”

In the offseason, Al and David Wieczorek have played pepper during the winter months in an alley near David Wieczorek’s home in Edison Park.

“We pass the ball, we bump the ball,” Al Wieczorek said. “[Volleyball] is all that kid does. He loves it. It’s not something I made him do.”

David Wieczorek has traveled to his father’s matches all over the Chicago area and has seen him play in USA Volleyball’s adult national tournaments in Phoenix, Dallas and Minneapolis.

Later this month, Al Wieczorek will travel to Houston to help coach David Wieczorek’s Energy club team in the USA Boys Junior Nationals June 28-July 5. The head coach of the Energy team is Jimmy Neill, one of Al Wieczorek’s teammates from Chicago Coast.

“[Chicago Coast players] treat David like they are his big brothers,” Al Wieczorek said. “They all adore David. They are not family, but they are like family. My Chicago Coast teammates would visit David at his matches.”

Next season, David Wieczorek will play at NCAA perennial power Pepperdine. The longtime father-son volleyball combination will be broken up as David Wieczorek begins a new career. Al Wieczorek first coached David Wieczorek in volleyball at St. Thecla Catholic School in Chicago in the fourth grade.

“We always talk in the car about volleyball,” David Wieczorek said. “We never stop. It’s the greatest game of my life. We talk about what I can do better. Even on the phone, we talk about that every morning.”

Al and David Wieczorek still plan on talking daily when David gets to college, but it will have to be long distance.

All-star power

Wieczorek and teammate Collin Merk played in the High School Volleyball Coaches Association’s third-annual All-Star Game June 9 for seniors. When asked who was the match’s most feared hitter, Lincoln-Way North’s Brad McFarland told the Southtown Star: “[Wieczorek] hits the ball really high and really hard across. It’s not fun to block him. I wasn’t trying to lose a finger.”

The Latest
The second-year forward knows there’s a youth movement underway. Now that he’s healthy, he’s looking to see what part he’ll play in it.
The Illinois Republican has a lot going on at the convention because he wears a lot of hats. He’s a vice chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee — a House GOP political organization — and a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee and the Intelligence Committee.
If the Cubs were good enough to go to Baltimore and sweep a three-game series against the playoff-bound Orioles, it’s too soon to dismiss them.
The Sun-Times’ annual season-opening test of fans’ optimism/pessimism is a little skewed this year. With Caleb Williams, DJ Moore, Keenan Allen & Co. and a defense on the rise, Bears fans have every right to feel good about this team. What can go wrong?