Athlete Profile: Anthony Wistocki



Athlete Profile: Anthony Wistocki

By Copy Editor

Anthony Wistocki kindled his love of soccer and firefighting growing up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago in the Homer Glen-Lockport area. His impressive soccer career began in preschool and eventually led to an All-Conference award while playing on travel teams and for Lockport Township High School, which earned him a soccer scholarship at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. When he’s not on the field, Wistocki, a freshman midfielder and forward, is studying to become a firefighter paramedic and respiratory therapist.

The Chronicle spoke with Wistocki about brotherhood, firefighting and trust.

THE CHRONICLE: When did you start playing soccer competitively?

ANTHONY WISTOCKI: I was playing [recreationally] and I just thought all my friends were going to start playing travel, which is more serious. They travel around to neighboring clubs and towns. So I said, “Why not? Let’s try it.” And I loved it.

CC: Is soccer just a hobby or is it an option for your future?

AW: I feel coming to college and getting recruited was just another dream fulfilled. When my schedule is packed with soccer, class, workouts, [firefighter training] and work, I feel more structured. If I didn’t have those kinds of things, like if I was just going to class and working out, I’d have too much time between and there’d be nothing to do. I feel having more stuff to do will just keep me focused and I get to do something that I love.

CC: Did your father influence your interest in firefighting?

AW: Yeah, I would say so. Seeing him be a first responder…it’s so rewarding. I did a couple [of] ride-alongs and that’s what sealed my deal on want- ing to be a firefighter paramedic. So I’m going to be a firefighter paramedic and then a respiratory therapist in the hospitals because firefighters work 24 hours and get 48 hours off. So the 48 hours off I’ll be working at the hospital doing respiratory therapy. That’s the plan. [Respiratory therapy is] very rewarding. Just seeing the success in your patients that you take care of and then them coming back to you and seeing that they’re 100 percent recovered. To me, there’s no better feeling than that.

CC: What does soccer mean to you?

AW: I love it, man. When I go play, nothing else goes through your head but what you have to do and what you have to do to support your team. The thing is with soccer, it’s all about trust. If you have trust in your players and your players have trust in you, then you have a great team…. When you play, nothing else goes through your head…. It teaches you a part of brotherhood, which is [a] part of firefighting. You’re always there for your brothers, no matter what the consequences. The worst fear is not being there for your brother.

CC: What are your goals on the field?

AW: We plan to win the [Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference] tournament, which is our conference. Our plan is to win the final and then make an appearance [in] the NCAA tournament and hopefully make a name for ourselves in there before I graduate.

CC: Are there any players you look up to?

AW: Yeah, I look up to an Italian player. His name is [Andrea] Pirlo. He’s an Italian midfielder. My grandma and grandpa are big soccer fans on my mom’s side. Every Sunday we go over there for dinner and we always watch a game and she always tells me, “Hey, did you see what happened? Did you see what happened this week? Did you hear what happened with this one?” So she’s always giving me the scoop and we always watch the games together.