By Ross Forman – Thomas Wesolowski, a three-year varsity goalie for York, has shined on the ice… and in the water.
Wesolowski, 18, a senior who lives in Elmhurst, was an All-SHL Academic Team honoree last season, with a 6-9-0-1 record in 17 Scholastic Hockey League games and a .893 save percentage. The Dukes finished 7-17-0-2-1 in the 10-team league.
“There were a lot of great high school teams last season and that posed a lot of good competition and challenges for my team and I to face. Overall, I am proud of how we responded to challenges and grew, not only as individual players but also as a team,” Wesolowski said. “I hope to make the All-SHL and All-State teams this season. I will help my team in whatever way I can so that we achieve success.”
Wesolowski also is a certified rescue diver, not to mention the founder and president of a scuba diving club called, Trident Divers Scuba Club, which focuses on education, exploration, and conservation of our world’s bodies of water.
He has four levels of scuba diving certifications: Open Water Scuba Diver, Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver, Peak-Buoyancy Diver, and Rescue Diver. “I have been scuba diving since I was 12 and it has long since been a passion of mine,” he said.
Wesolowski is hoping to attend a United States Service Academy in the fall, such as the United States Naval Academy, United States Air Force Academy, West Point Military Academy, or Coast Guard Academy. If not, he plans to study at a civilian university, participate in ROTC and play club hockey.
“I consider myself to be an aggressive goalie. I rely on my positioning and athleticism to make saves and control my rebounds,” he said. “Throughout my career, my teammates and family have had large influences on me. They always push me to be my best and support me through the highs and lows of the season.”
Wesolowski, who formerly played for the Chicago Blues and Admirals Hockey Club, said he is more confident this season. “I trust that I can make every save, no matter how good the shot is,” he said. “I feel pressure knowing that this is the last season I will have as a high school hockey player; however, because it is my last season, I know that I have nothing to lose and I want to play every game as if it could be my last.
“I bring a positive attitude to the team. Even during the lows of the season, I try to stay positive and lift up my teammates.”
Stopping Slapshots With … York Goalie Thomas Wesolowski
Uniform Number: 41, which he wears as an ode to Illinois native Craig Anderson
Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Favorite NHL Player: Marc-Andre Fleury
Favorite Sports-Themed Movie: Rocky
Favorite Pre-Game Meal: Grilled chicken and rice with vegetables.
Celebrity You’d Like To Meet: “Any famous musician … I love all types of music.”
Leadership: “I like to lead by example. I set out to always do my best in everything, with hopes that my teammates will follow my example and do the same.”
Giving Thanks: “I am beyond grateful to have been given the opportunity to play hockey, as I have (developed) many friendships and learned so much about life from the sport.”
In The Gym: “I work-out at least four times per week on my own, in addition to my team workouts. I work on hand-to-eye coordination, foot speed, and strength training.”
Favorite Hockey Memory: “Playing in the 2018-19 elite eight round of the state tournament against New Trier Green. The rink was packed with fans and many of my peers. Being able to play in front of that many people was an exhilarating experience.”
Career Highlight: “In the 2018-19 SHL playoffs, when my team beat New Trier Green 5-2 in the first game of the series. The camaraderie that my team had during that game and entire postseason was unmatched.” (But the Trevians won that series.)
Best Hockey Tip: “Prove everyone wrong” – His dad
Teammate Who You Could See As A Hockey Coach: Mikey Kamienski
Hardest Slapshot On Your Team: James Millins
Most Accurate Shot On York: Bobby Plummer
Fastest Skater: James Millins
Best High School Uniforms (other than York): Glenbrook North
Ross Forman has written about Illinois high school hockey for more than 15 years and is the only sportswriter to have covered Illinois High School hockey every year during that stretch. He played locally and then at Indiana University before becoming a referee. Ross was a referee for the State Championship game several years ago at the United Center. Contact Ross by email at Rossco814@aol.com.