Athletes of the semester

Stellar seasons for Rowan Heidt and Derica Chiu


photo by Holden Heidt

Oak Park High School’s Varsity Football senior running back Rowan Heidt and senior golf player and Emory University commit Derica Chiu both have had exceptional semesters. Heidt has a total of 1022 rushing yards, 149 carries and 15 touchdowns throughout the semester with the help of his teammates. Chiu averaged 34.22 in her nine rounds of league play with six of the nine being under par. She was also MVP this year in the Coastal Canyon League and was First Team All-League all four years of highschool. Chiu reached the CIF Individual Finals for the third straight year and the state SCGA for the second year. 

“I feel honored to be picked as athlete of the semester. Although I could not have done it without the offensive line. They did most of the work for me and all I had to do was run in the gaps they created,” said Heidt. 

Both athletes have contributed to their teams, with the support of teammates and hard work put in during conditioning and practicing. Although Heidt was not captain for this year’s football team, he still was an integral part of the team’s efforts. Chiu was captain of this year’s season and brought her encouragement and team huddles together. 

“As captain of this season and junior captain of last year, I would say that I am a leader. I love encouraging the team. We always have a team huddle and I say a few words before we tee off,” said Chiu. 

Although there were highs and lows throughout both seasons, both of these athletes made the best of it. OPHS Varsity Football did not end up winning league and lost many key players throughout the season due to injuries. The team’s high point this year was beating Agoura during the homecoming game. Heidt was an on the field leader and let each play dictate his actions during each game. 

“There were definitely some lows when we lost some key players and went 2-4 in league, but also highs because we beat Agoura and got into the playoffs. I think the team did great given the fact we only have 30 players on our team and are playing against teams double our size. Although I wasn’t captain I felt that I was more of an on the field leader and let my play do the talking for me,” said Heidt.

Throughout the season Chiu ended up missing a few league matches due to an illness; despite this setback, her other teammates were able to defeat their opponents. The OPHS Girls’ Golf Team went undefeated for the third league season in a row and went to the SCGA qualifier to qualify for the state as well. 

“We went undefeated for our third league season in a row. I went to the SCGA qualifier to qualify for state. Even when I missed a couple league matches due to illness, they were able to dominate our opponents,” said Chiu. 

Rowan Hedit and Derica Chiu have both displayed sportsmanship during practice and in games. Despite the setbacks both players have experienced, they managed to help their teammates throughout the season.