the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

Olivia’s Hefty returning to Wrestling

Olivia Heft Returns to Wrestling after lengthy Injury
Wrestling+Media+Day
Drew Schmidt
Wrestling Media Day

In the early winter of 2022 in the midst of her junior season, Oliva Heft had a major surgery to fully reconstruct her shoulder labrum. But she’s back and better than ever where she continues to dominate the 125-pound weight class.

Through many years of wrestling and trauma, Heft had completely mangled her right shoulder labrum in a full 360-degree tear. Heft first started to feel something was wrong late into her freshman season, but it wasn’t until her junior offseason where she finally felt her shoulder give out in a tournament match.

“I was in an armbar and it was like a weird position while I was trying to fight it off … It [her shoulder] went up into my ear and probably out of place,” Heft said. Even after this, she continued to wrestle through the tournament after seeing the trainer. “[The trainer] was like, ‘Yep it’s tight, like knotted up, but you can still wrestle,” Heft said. “I wrestled that match protecting [her shoulder] and that was a really dumb mistake.”

This is a mistake that would cost her a whole year out of her career. Heft had her reconstructive surgery in late December. The surgery itself only lasted a few short hours, the recovery process, on the other hand, was lengthy and challenging. It took just over two months of physical therapy to begin to use her arm without a sling and over eight months to begin wrestling again. “The smallest things become the biggest inconveniences,” said Heft. “Relying on your parents [again] is very humbling … you’re a high-schooler, but you can’t really do anything.You can’t cook, can’t drive, can’t really shower or get dressed without any help.” To say the least, these hardships put a toll on her not only physically but mentally.

Nevertheless she persisted “She’s doing a really good job facing adversity of injuries and continually brings in a high level of effort and high goals,” said Heft’s Coach, Devin Tortorice. “… [She’s a] returning two state placers and returning runner up and chasing a state title is always inspiring.” Heft plays a large part in leading the women’s team. She motivates and teaches her teammates with her high wrestling IQ. Heft is also the main inspiration to the younger girls, making them not only better wrestlers but better people.

Heft is pound-for-pound one of the most dominant and knowledgeable wrestlers on the team, and it shows on the mat. So far this season, Heft has gone undefeated at nine wins and zero losses,taking first in every single tournament she has wrestled in. Heft shows her dominance on the mat with her power take-downes and her ability to adapt to unique situations. On Heft’s current trajectory, sShe expects to return to the state tournament and hopes to take the title this year. Even after high school, Heft will continue to wrestle at the collegiate level while studying to become a physical therapist.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Drew Schmidt, Staff
Drew Schmidt is a senior and this is his first year on staff. In his free time, he enjoys playing football and lacrosse. In his free time, he also enjoys metal working.