Daily News spotlight athletes: Thomas Jefferson's Thor Henze, Woodland Hills' Desiree Garland
TribLIVE Sports Videos
School: Thomas Jefferson
Claim to fame: Henze recorded three pins en route to winning the 285-pound title at the Steve DeAugustino holiday classic at West Mifflin High School earlier this season. The 6-foot, 282-pound senior also finished second at the Tool City tournament. “He has wrestled tremendously this year,” coach Rudy Nesbitt said. “We took him to Edinboro University over the summer where he trained with the heavyweights. He ended up winning the takedown tournament. That was our first win in seven years. He came back home and really pushed himself over the summer. He improved his conditioning and his ability to pin opponents.”
How did you get into wrestling?
I've been doing it since kindergarten. I brought home a paper from school, and I was kind of questioning whether I wanted to do it or not. I ended up doing it, and it just took off from there. I've loved it ever since.
Have you decided where you'll go to college?
I'm not sure yet. I would like to study outdoor sciences. Iowa State University has been looking at me. I'd like to go there and wrestle. They have pretty good wrestling program.
Is it difficult to be a good leader in such an individual sport?
A little bit. I guess I lead by cheering for the other guys when they're out there wrestling and helping them on the mat with the coaches.
What do you enjoy most about wrestling?
I love the intensity. I like how you have to put a lot into it to succeed. For example, I went to the Edinboro wrestling camp with the team this summer and went to as many summer practices as I could. I trained with Rob Waller at All-American Wrestling in Latrobe as well.
What do you need to improve to take yourself to the next level?
Probably my speed and endurance to be able to go that extra few minutes in a match.
Which of your fellow seniors would give you the biggest challenge in a match?
I'd say Jason McKown would give me the best run for my money just because how he wrestles and the intensity that he puts into it. He just doesn't give up.
What needs to happen for you to consider this season a success?
I'd say so far it has already been a success. But to make it 100 percent successful, I have to make it to states.
What is your favorite movie and why?
“Joe Dirt” is my favorite movie because of how funny and ridiculous it is.
— Robert Stinner
School: Woodland Hills
Claim to fame: Garland scored 14 points and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career in the Wolverines' 58-46 loss to Franklin Regional on Jan. 11. Garland — who is averaging 17 points per game heading into the week — scored 12 points in the Wolverines' 49-48 win over Norwin on Jan. 9 and had 15 in a 63-33 win over McKeesport on Jan. 4.
How special was it for you to reach the 1,000-point mark?
It's very special. I didn't even know that I was close until a week before that. My coach didn't want to tell me because she didn't want me to think about it too much.
What are your plans after high school?
I'm debating between running track and field or playing basketball. I'm not sure, yet. I'll know in February. Pitt is the main school that I've heard from for track. That's where I want to go. I also heard from Seton Hill, Cal (Pa.) and IUP.
Why are you opting to run track over playing basketball?
Last year was the first time I ran track. I did really well. It just fits me better than basketball. I've gotten more letters from track and field, so it just seems like the better thing to do in the long run.
When you look back at your four years at Woodland Hills, what moment will stand out most?
When I played with my sister when I was a freshman and she was a senior. It was more fun to me because my sister was there. She helped me a lot. I don't think I would have been as good if she wasn't there my first year.
The Wolverines have gotten off to a rough start in section play. What are you going to have to do to turn the season around?
We just need to come together as a team and work harder and support each other more.
— Brian Graham
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Letang leaves hospital, ‘day-to-day’ with concussion
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Starkey: Next frontier for Steelers offense
- Shortfalls sabotage promise of union retirees’ pensions
- Building damaged, no injuries after Fayette recycling center fire
- Pirates pitchers finding success with expanded strike zone
- Mt. Lebanon native, Iraq war hero’s action goes unrewarded
- Pitt’s Amara offers Vision of hope
- Alvarez latest in Pirates’ revolving door at first base
- South Side house part of former Steeler’s end game
- From sticks to pucks, Mt. Pleasant collector wields power of the Pens