Friday Night Sports Hero: Rachel Heiss

The St. Pat’s volleyball captain returns to playing after injury sidelined her
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 10:00 PM CDT
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As Rachel Heiss plays her senior year of volleyball for St. Pat’s, she knows it has been a long road for her to return to the playing court after suffering a torn ACL at the start of her junior year, ending her volleyball and basketball season before they even began.

As rigorous as the recovery process was, which included therapy twice a week for nearly eight months, it made her stronger both physically and emotionally.

“Emotionally, it made me so strong. I didn’t get to play basketball and that was really hard but I knew there was a reason for it,” said Heiss, who believed the recovery process was teaching her more than one lesson. “It was teaching me something physically, emotionally, and it was going to make me a better person, player and teammate.”

St. Pat’s volleyball coach and school alumni, Maddy Krebs, is in her first season at the helm and went through a similar injury herself in her playing days. Being able to relate to what Rachel has gone through has created a close bond between the coach and player.

“I had the exact same injury and so I know what the recovery process is. I’ve been able to relate to that with her and just seeing her comeback from an injury that can stop a lot of peoples careers,” said Krebs.

When asked what her first impression was of Rachel when the team started preseason practices, three words came to the coaches mind.

“Natural born leader. Those are the words I use to describe her all the time, with her life outside of sports, with her friend group, I just think she’s a natural born leader, she’s got the qualities that you can’t really teach,” Krebs said.

Rachel’s college plans are undecided, but she is soaking up every moment she has left as a high school athlete.

“I don’t take a single thing for granted, every time I’m in the gym I’m making the most of it.”

Copyright 2020 KNOP. All rights reserved.

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