For Bolingbrook High School TE Chandler Piekarski, Friday's game against Joliet Central was more than just a football game.
"I would say it's the toughest game I have played honestly," Piekarski said. "I played well against Belleville and Plainfield South and to have this, I couldn't go 100%. But I went out there and I did what I had to do."
Piekarski's dad, Dave Piekarski, passed away unexpectedly last Tuesday. And after a week of grieving, Chandler honored and remembered his father the best way he knew how.
"The coaches respected that and my dad respected that," Piekarski said. "And that's all that matters."
During Bolingbrook's first offensive series, Piekarski caught the first touchdown of the game.
"That's the first touchdown of my high school career," Piekarski said. "And on this occasion, that means a lot to me and I know he is up there watching."
He added, "I am just taking it game by game. My dad would want me to go big so I am going to come out and play every game for him."
But Piekarski's dad was not the only one watching him Friday.
"My whole family, including my dad's side, came," Piekarski said. "So it was nice to have them cheering me on. My family is really close, and it is nice to have people around that keep you strong."
With that support, Piekarski knows it's all he needs to reach his goals this season.
"My goals are I would like to get a few offers and score a couple more touchdowns for my dad," Piekarski said. "My goals are sky high right now, and I know my dad is watching over me right now."
Which is all the motivation Piekarski needs.
"I know he would always come out to my games and cheer me on," Piekarski said. "He wishes the best for me and I am going to go out there and give my team the best."
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