Wiese Leaves Mark by Making Holes & Plugging Them
Zach Wiese has spent the last several fall seasons opening up tremendous holes for running backs to dash through for the Huskies football team. Each winter he has been sealing holes and keeping the puck out of the hockey net at a spectacular rate. He is also a power-hitting first baseman. Wiese was named the Olenburg Senior Male Athlete of the Year Thursday.
Asia Buryska won the top female athlete award. The other finalists are Isaac Gefre, Keenan Young, Kaitlyn Madole, and Sara Anderson. The junior athletes of the year Payton Beyer and Lindsay Bangs were announced Wednesday. Each day a caravan of OHS coaches, activities director Marc Achterkirch, and trainer TC traveled to the home of each of the finalists.
Wiese said this, "It's an amazing accomplishment. Just getting nominated for the award is amazing. But actually winning the award for senior year, it's just amazing." The year leaves plenty of memories, "Probably everything. I'll remember the whole year just because all this that is happening...Football, never forget those. Hockey, we had an amazing year this year too. And baseball, it didn't happen, but I'll still remember."
Wiese has signed a tender to play junior hockey with the Rochester Grizzlies of the NA3HL a level of hockey affiliated with the North American Hockey League.
OHS boys hockey coach Josh Storm says, "One of the most accomplished goalies in the state on Minnesota...Zach, I would put up against anybody...Zach is definitely the best goal tender on a team I've been a part of in high school hockey. He's go a competitiveness that's a crazy high and a huge level of athleticism."
Wiese earned All-Big Conference in hockey as a junior and senior. He won the Ken Austin Award with the Huskies this past winter. The honor recognizes him for his leadership, dedication, teamwork, hustle, and enthusiasm. He set a school record with his 32 career victories. Seventeen of those wins came during their conference runner up season in 2019-2020.
During football, Wiese was named the Big Southeast Lineman of the Year and played in the showcase all-star game last December. He was a member of two state championship teams in 2017 and 2018.
Football coach Jeff Williams said at the end of the football season, "Zach was the heart and soul of our offensive line for the past three seasons. He is tremendously athletic within his lineman's body...One of the finest lineman to ever play in Owatonna."
Baseball coach Tate Cummins shared during a Senior Salute interview on the AM 1390 KRFO Coaches Show, "We were really hoping to see him in the middle of the lineup."
On being nominated, Young said, "I was actually surprised since I didn't have a senior year (track and field)...happy I even got the chance to be a part of it." Young was a state runner up in hurdles at the 2019 state track and field meet. While some summer events are cancelled, he is hopeful some will still be held. He says he is working out in order to compete at Meridian College in Mississippi. Young was also a return specialist for the section title football team and defensive back.
Gefre said, "It's a great honor. Kind of a great way to cap off the senior year, just to be recognized by all these coaches. It's pretty cool...Past three years playing football, it was great. Got the two state championships. A lot of memories made with my friends. it was a good time." Gefre also plays baseball and plans to try to walk-on at Minnesota State University-Mankato. He also shoots clay target and might get the chance to do that still this summer.