Sophomore on varsity football

Ari Fiebig’s dreams become a reality when he earned a spot on varsity


Courtesy of Ari Fiebig

Sophomore Ari Fiebig preparing for a play at Huntley’s pink out game.

By Emma McCoy

Wanting to give football a try from the time he was in third grade, sophomore Ari Fiebig was finally given the chance to play when he started high school. Growing up his parents would not allow him to play football up until eighth grade. 

“When I went into eighth grade, my mom finally said yes and my dad said yes. And then [the pandemic] happened, and I couldn’t play football,” Fiebig said. 

Fiebig has more of a unique story, starting a whole new sport as a freshman and coming from a different school. 

“It was more like you just have to fit in because I was coming from a different school. I came from Westminster,” Fiebig said. “It is where my mom teaches math. We went over there because of [the pandemic]. We wanted to get in school, so I went over there for half of a semester.”

Battling the effects of online learning, Fiebig was in seventh grade when the pandemic hit, and he was doing online school. He could not keep up with online school, so he went to Westminster in Elgin, a private school, so he could go to school in person. 

As Freshman year started approaching, Fiebig was about to begin his first year of football. 

“I didn’t want to go into [football] freshman year because I thought [the pandemic] was just going to stick around,” Fiebig said. “I remember the conditioning being so hard as a freshman.”

On the freshman team, Fiebig completed his first year and decided to continue playing. 

The summer before sophomore year, Fiebig played receiver for Coach Michael Naymola. During this time, the team went to a camp in Brownsburg, and Fiebig had missed the week prior to camp.

He was out of the loop in terms of football, but then he joined the team back in Brownsburg after he was playing baseball out of town. Fiebig was playing a little bit of JV receiver, but suddenly, the football coaches were struggling to find someone for varsity. 

“Us coaches were all like ‘hey why don’t we give Ari a chance,’” Naymola said.

Fiebig went in immediately as a corner and was making plays left and right and had a couple of good tackles and some big hits; he was playing really well. 

“We were like where did this guy come from,” Naymola said. “He immediately made an impact on our defense that maybe filled a void that we had, and he has just been growing ever since.” 

Following summer into the school year, Fiebig was learning a little bit every day. Although, he was still a little raw in terms of knowledge of the game.

“This season is more exciting than I remember freshman year. I would play and just watch varsity and think I would want to be on that field. And once I got to the field, it was so much better than being in the stands,” Fiebig said.

The 2022 season is now wrapping up, but Fiebig has had a rewarding sophomore season.

“On the field, he is a gifted athlete, and he is learning so much in such a short amount of time,” Naymola said. “He is like a sponge, though, and is just absorbing everything people tell him, and he is trying to retain that information. He is definitely one of our better defenders on the field this year.”

Being only a sophomore and in his second year of playing football, Fiebig is doing very well for his age and experience.

“Ari does a lot to impact the team, just clamping up the wide receivers and keeping them in check, and then he just kills everyone that tries to run at him,” junior varsity football player Haiden Janke said. 

“If we are back on defense, and we need some power or something to hype us up, Ari will give us a big hit; he will kind of hype everyone else up around the defense. He leads us to do great things,” senior varsity football player Kaden Buchholz said.