Wessel, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound junior defensive back for Heights, has helped the Falcons return to the Class 6A playoffs for the fifth time in eight seasons. He has a team-high 94 tackles, including 59 solo tackles, three fumbles recovered and three interceptions. Wessel is being recruited to play college basketball; Wichita State has offered him a scholarship.
Heights (5-4) started the season 0-2 and was 1-3. Has it been a tough year?
"There have been many ups and downs, but we've been able to overcome most of them. Now we're getting ready for the state playoffs. When we started 0-2, we knew it wasn't the way it was supposed to be, and we had to change things. We had more focus and picked it up in practice."
You played wide receiver and quarterback growing up, but changed to defense at Heights. Were you OK with that change?
"I like defense. I think it's a little more physical, and I like to hit people. It's fun for me. It's a feeling you get when you get a big hit."
You also play basketball. (Wessel was the point guard and helped lead Heights to the Class 6A title in March.) How does your height help you at point guard?
"I think I see the floor a little better. I'm mostly taller than my defenders, and it's easier to pass the ball. But I get in there and rebound."
Your brother, Trevor, plays football with you and your grandfather, Ev Wessel, coached East to the Class 5A basketball title in 1972 — how much is your family linked to sports?
"It's a big part. Most of my family has been involved in sports. My grandpa, I always looked up to him."
What's your favorite sports memory growing up?
"I remember playing when I was 8 and we went to Louisiana for a Biddy Basketball tournament. It was a long drive. When you're 8, it doesn't matter... you're living in the moment."