Burger King Outstanding Student Athlete: SB St. Joe’s Mark Hiestand

WSBT 22 photo

Indiana Sectional Semifinals just 24 hours away.

Class 4A features a rematch of two NIC rivals: St. Joe & New Praire.

The Cougars won a hart-fought game, 41-28 in the regular season.

The Tribe will look to reverse their fortunes tomorrow night and will be led up-front by Mark Hiestand, in the hopes of clinching a spot in the sectional finals.

"How I was born was actually in the middle of my dad's football game for Illinois,” said Hiestand. “I think they were playing Northwestern. He actually left the game and came to be there for my birth. Before he was still calling and talking to his players from the hospital. I always tell people I was born for football. I was born in the middle of one of my dad's games."

The boy who was born for fall has grown into one of the top lineman in the state.

Mark Hiestand is St. Joe's offensive tackle and the son of Former Notre Dame and now Bears Offensive Line coach Harry Hiestand,

“I've been around great leaders my whole life,” said Hiestand. “My dad has been leading O-Lines for a long time and I've known how t get my message across because I've seen it for a long time now. Everything I've done is thanks to the coaches and him. It's really both of them helping me develop as a player and as a person.”

Another simple move for Mark came in June, when he committed to play college ball at the US Air Force Academy, and follow in not only his dad's footsteps, but also his grandfather's in serving our country.

"I love football, so it was a simple choice when I got offered the chance to play at Airforce,” said Hiestand. “It brings a lot more opportunities along with it. You get to serve your country and it's a great education.”

"These kids like Mark that come along could be once in a lifetime,” said Coach Bryon Whitten. “He's that outstanding of a young man, academically as well as on the football field. We’ve got a lot of work to do filling his shoes next season, but we aren't going to worry about that right now. We're going to put all of our effort onto this Friday night and we can continue the season going."

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