Adventurous senior tackles the Grand Tetons in first climb


Weston Heeren

Heeren stands atop the Grand Tetons after a successful climb. He completed ascent 50 years after his grandfather accomplished the same feat.

   From scaling the Grand Tetons to battling on the gridiron, Weston Heeren is an avid athlete and adventurer. Heeren is a senior at Sheridan High School who is engaged in football, indoor and outdoor track, and the Outdoor Club.

   Over the summer, Heeren embarked on his first major climb of the Grand Tetons. As a kid, Heeren remembers his grandfather telling stories of climbs he had accomplished. “My grandfather had been a huge climber, and I had been just amazed by all of the stories that he had,” said Heeren. This summer, Heeren decided to launch his climbing adventures, starting with the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyo. He started with three days of guide school training and was soon ascending the Tetons. After the first night on the mountain, weather drove the climbers back down, but as the weather cleared up, Heeren resumed his climb. Once he reached the top, he recalled a calm falling over the range. “Probably the greatest lunch I’d ever had.” said Heeren, “Seeing the curve of the earth was unreal.” He is unsure of his future climbs at the moment, but he now has a large appreciation for the activity.  

   Along with that, Heeren plays offensive tackle and defensive end for the Sheridan Bronc football team. After a minor shoulder injury at the start of the season, he is back on the field battling for the team. After football season ends, Heeren begins to focus on his upcoming seasons of track. He throws the shot put in indoor and outdoor track, along with the discus in the outdoor season. He is looking forward to his senior seasons and what he will accomplish during them. Heeren understands he will be in a more significant leadership role, but he is ready for the challenge and hopes to build strong friendships with the underclassmen in the activities he is in. Heeren expects that what he builds with his younger peers, they will someday do with other athletes as well.   

   When he is not in sports, Heeren is engaged in the Outdoor Club. “Through the Outdoor Club, students are able to join outdoor activities they might not be able to regularly, along with [their] friends,” said Heeren. The Outdoor Club offers students many possibilities for expanding their knowledge of the outdoors. Within the Outdoor Club, Heeren is able to explore and pursue outdoor activities that he has been interested in since he was a kid. The club has allowed him to go skiing, do some small scale climbing, and many other outdoor excursions. As a senior, Heeren has filled a leadership role in the group, so he plans on making the activities as fun and engaging for others as he can. 

   With that, Heeren has found a hidden talent within his incredible artistic capabilities. “Artistically, I don’t think people realize how talented he is,” said art teacher Ashley Cooper. Being highly detail-oriented has helped and, occasionally, hindered Heeren during his art, but it pushes his work to the next level. Many of Heeren’s pieces are on display in the school. In the past, he had a large focus on drawing and realism with an emphasis on Western style. While he is talented at drawing, he also has the ability to create art in many other media.  Heeren breaks the jock-football player stereotype with his respectable art skills. 

   In his free time, Heeren enjoys hanging out with friends and relaxing from his busy schedule. Sometimes he and some friends will go up the mountains or just hang out at someone’s house, but he enjoys just spending time with others. Heeren is not one to leave anybody out and is always willing to start up a conversation if he has the time. He is a nice person who does his best to help others when he can. “He will always be there to help a friend when he can,” said senior and friend Nich Gale. Gale has known Heeren since the sixth grade and has enjoyed his friendship ever since.

   As his senior year begins, Heeren is currently interested in pursuing a career in film making or architecture. He would like to attend the University of Southern California for either of those careers. 

   Heeren has a wide variety of talents inside and outside of sports. He is a nice, caring, and approachable person that always has a smile on his face. With high aspirations for his future, Heeren is planning on making it a great last year at Sheridan High School. 

   Heeren is the son of Skye Heeren.