A year ago Mark Hiben was just hoping that he would see the field at some point during the game, now Hiben is under the spot light as Glenbard West’s top receiver.
Mark Hiben would only play when the team was up 40 as they were almost every game last year. Hiben took what he learned during those times and really applied those skills to the end of the season last year.
Friend and former basketball teammate member Paul Luzak had this to say about Mark, “Mark has been able to make his unbelievable jump because of his hard work. Mark gives it his all in everything he does, whether it’s basketball practice or it’s a fly pattern in the fourth quarter of a playoff game.
Mark refuses to accept mediocrity, and strives for perfection.” When I asked teammate, Linebacker Kyle Rustemeyer about Hiben’s recent success he said, ” I think he was always a great player, the catch just gave him the confidence he needed, and hes gotten a lot faster”.
Against St. Charles North in the Quarterfinals of the 7A State Playoffs, Hiben caught his first touchdown and accounted for over 100 yards.
Mark Hiben will always been known as the guy that single handily got his team into the State Championship in 2009. With just under 10 seconds, QB Tyler Warden found Hiben in the back of the end zone which gave the Hilltoppers the lead and 6 seconds later, the win against Lake Zurich.
Hiben is now the favorite target of Senior QB Mike Matthew and the expectations are sky high. Coach Chad Hetlet even went as far as to say that Mark Hiben is one of the top wide outs in the state. That might sound crazy for a kid that didn’t score a TD until the 12th game of the season but with the stats he is putting up, its very hard to argue.
Matthew has reiterated his faith in Hiben saying, “I felt the pressure, But I knew the team had my back. I felt butterflies walking to the field. But after the first snap, everything was OK. Having Hiben out there is a big advantage. If I throw the ball up there, he’ll catch it.”
Mark picked up where he left off, against Crosstown rival Glenbard South. Hiben picked up his first and second touchdowns of the season on 60 yards this afternoon. When I asked Mark if they could keep up this pace he told me ” I think it’s realistic, we will keep having success all throughout the season only if we keep working hard and bring energy and intensity. But we do have the talent to do it. Nothing is given to you. You have to earn every win.”
Senior Running back Trace Sorey jokingly stated “It got to this point where I was hoping that Mark would drop the ball (laughs) I needed some touches”.
Hiben was very quiet against the Mustangs this week. Mainly due to the fact that the running game exploded, led by Trace Sorey and Nick Burrelo. Mike Matthew had his only completion in the 2nd half, which was to Hiben, going for 13 yards.
Hiben and the Hitters take on Hinsdale Central Friday night in Hinsdale.