By Chris Cox
Shawnee High School junior Chicago Herron admits he didn’t have a passion for wrestling when he started. But as he’s continued to compete and grow in the sport, he has also developed that passion most athletes have and now a defined goal he’s trying to reach this year.
“I was awful at basketball and my dad showed me wrestling,” he says. “I didn’t like it at first but the more I did it the more I loved it. This year I want to qualify for the state tournament. It’s not necessarily a big goal but I’ve missed out 2 years now and that’s my biggest goal.”
Herron also has big goals for his Shawnee High School teammates.
“We want to have as many state qualifiers as possible,” he says. “We have a good team, and we are starting to come together as a family. I feel we can have our whole lineup go to state.”
Outside of wrestling, Herron is also preparing himself for his future by participating in the criminal justice program at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.
“I want to be a first responder,” he says. “My stepdad is deputy at the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office. He’s a big inspiration to me and I want to be like him.”
The thing Herron likes most about the criminal justice program is the atmosphere.
“I like the team and the work,” he says. “We work hard, and we have a great team. I love every one of them.”
Herron’s instructor at GCTC, Troy Thompson, believes Herron will be successful in his future endeavors.
“Chicago is a very respectful and caring young man,” Thompson says. “He possesses great leadership qualities and is a true leader. Chicago is a hard worker and leads by example.”
Along with his studies at Shawnee High School and Gordon Cooper, Herron keeps himself busy with student council and fine arts. But it’s his church that is perhaps the most important thing he’s involved in.
“I go to Switch on Wednesdays at Life Church,” he says. “It’s a great experience and definitely changes your life.”
Following graduation, Herron is planning on joining the Marine Corps before becoming a first responder.