All three athletic programs that Brad Wyss is a member of at Seneca High School have had their results improve since he joined them three years ago.
As a lineman, Wyss helped the Fighting Irish win five football games — their highest total since 2001 — in 2012. The Irish won their first basketball regional since 2006 and had their victory total go up for a fourth straight season in 2012-13, with Wyss serving as a reserve post player. He also competes in the shot put for the Seneca track and field team, which had several historic firsts, particularly for its girls, in 2013.
With his final prep athletic year about a month from beginning, Wyss wants more. A return to the playoffs for the football team and a return to the state final tournament for the basketball team are among his goals as a senior. In between summer football workouts, which included a 7-on-7 passing competition with Morris Thursday night, Wyss shared his thoughts with the Morris Daily Herald.
Q. Several months later, how do you feel about the 2012 (football) season when you think back about it?
A. I can still feel the postseason from last year on my fingertips. Watching film from last year, I can think of about seven or eight plays that could have helped us win one or two games to clinch playoffs. Last year was Seneca climbing up another step on the ladder.
Q. What have you seen so far this summer that would lead you to believe the team can win five, or more, games again?
A. We’re going to be fast again. We have speed all over the field, from the front lines to the backfield and secondary. I have a lot of confidence in our line.
Q. In what ways do you expect your role on the team to be different now than it’s been in the past?
A. My role this year will be a lot more since we lost most of our vocal leaders last year. I will be doing a few different things on defense too.
Q. Do you like getting to do a 7-on-7 with Morris? Why?
A. Yeah, I love it. We get to see how our kids compete with a larger and very successful program.
Q. What dates are you most looking forward to from the upcoming season?
A. The date that sticks out the most in my mind is our senior night against Herscher. My class has had a personal bone to pick with them since freshman basketball season and an intense speech from our coach (Dan) McCarthy.
Q. How did the summer basketball season go for you and the team?
A. The summer season was a lot of fun. It showed us the level of play we need to maintain to achieve what goals we all have in mind.
Q. Are you expecting to get more playing time in basketball given the players that were lost to graduation?
A. Yeah, I’m going to be playing a lot of minutes. My game has opened up a lot more since I gained confidence this summer.
Q. How difficult will it be to replace guys like Peyton Schrag and Jimmy David in both football and basketball?
A. It’s impossible to replace two athletes like Jimmy and Peyton, but we’re going to be doing some different things both on the field and on the court to utilize what we’ve got. The only thing we have to replace is their leadership.
Q. Which appeals to you more — the individual nature of the shot put, or being an often-overlooked lineman and a role player in team sports like football and basketball?
A. I would much rather do the dirty work for the success of my teams than have individual success in shot put. There’s nothing like going around the locker room after a game - win, lose or tie, shaking hands and giving high-fives to your brothers.
Q. What are your athletic goals for your senior year?
A. My main goals are to help us get to a week 10 game in football and help get us to Peoria for basketball. Also, I’m working on getting to the next level for football and hopefully getting a little free tuition.