UNION TWP. | Joe DeSimone has never been the kind of player that worried about where he made an impact. The Wheeler senior has always just been concerned about putting the Bearcats in the best position to win.
As a freshman, DeSimone started as an outside mid before switching to defense for the last two years. Now that the Bearcats have shored up their backline, DeSimone will get another chance to play midfield in his final season with Wheeler.
“When Coach (David Bock) told me I was going to defense, I was fine with it,” DeSimone said. “I’ve always been comfortable with defense, but yes, I am happy to get back to midfield.”
Bock brought along Alex Asher on defense last year and now expects the junior to handle the backside after getting plenty of tutelage from DeSimone. Asher’s presence allows DeSimone to move to the center of the field and use his talents wherever they’re needed.
“Joe is the engine of our offense, but I know I can trust him to get back on defense as well,” Bock said. “He covers the box-to-box area and he knows where he needs to be. He makes good decisions when he’s on the ball and he’s always looking for the ball when he doesn’t have it.”
DeSimone and fellow senior Ben Moricz are cut from the same cloth and the pair are expected to improve Wheeler’s offense this year and guide the Bearcats to a third straight sectional title.
“Ben and I are close on-the-field as well as off-the-field,” DeSimone said. “We’ve got a bunch of returning seniors, guys that I’ve played with a lot and we have a lot of chemistry. We’re ready to get into gear.”
Wheeler is 1-1 through two games this season and DeSimone registered an assist in the season opener against E.C. Central. Bock expects that the numbers are going to start to pile up for both DeSimone and the Bearcats.
“In our last game against Kankakee Valley, our fitness took over,” Bock said. “These guys have put in the work and they came ready to play this season.”