Parkway West senior Wyatt Yess’ career is winding down, but he is leaving his mark in the Longhorns’ record book.
Yess recently became the second-leading scorer in Parkway West boys basketball’s 49-year history. He also became the school’s leading rebounder this season, breaking a record more than 40 years old.
“It’s a great feeling to be the second all-time leading scorer in West basketball,” Yess said. “I attribute this accomplishment to the success we have had as a program over the last several years and to my teammates. It would not have been possible without them and our coaches.”
While passing Scott Highmark, who played from 1988-1991 and finished with 1,905 points, appears out of reach for Yess, a deep run in the postseason may give him a fighting chance.
“Scott Highmark was an amazing player here at West and set the bar extremely high,” said Yess. “It will definitely be difficult to pass up his record, but if we keep winning games, who knows what will happen.”
Highmark led Parkway West to a state championship. He then went on to a fine career at Saint Louis University, where he scored 1,703 points.
Parkway West coach John Wright described Highmark as carrying Parkway on his shoulders. “For Wyatt to be mentioned along side him is a huge compliment to what he has accomplished at Parkway West,” Wright said.
Owning the school rebounding record means a lot to Yess.
“It is an accomplishment that I am very proud of,” Yess said. “Rebounding is definitely tough. It requires you to play physical and have good positioning. To me, rebounding is just as important as how many points you put up. It’s not a flashy statistic but it is a difference maker in every game.”
Wright knew he was getting a good player when Yess was a freshman. He envisioned a solid four-year career for him. For his part, Yess has gone on to make his coach’s dream into reality.
The Longhorns are having another successful year. Yess, who is a team captain, is the only starter back from last year’s 23-6 squad that reached the quarterfinals, falling just short of a trip to the Final Four.
“That was a tough loss, but we are focused on this year and what’s ahead,” Yess said.
He is doing his part to ensure success this season. He averages 19.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. He also has the second most assists for the Longhorns. He likes what he has been doing this year.
“I am very pleased with how our season has been going,” Yess said. “We graduated eight seniors last year, so to be 16-4 with a relatively new team is awesome. I have been playing well. I try my best to be strong in both areas and be the best all around player I can be. I’m a hard worker that does whatever it takes to help my team win.”
The Longhorns have been winning. Parkway West is the Suburban Central Conference’s National Division champion-that is important, Yess said.
“It’s a huge confidence booster going into districts,” he said. “It proves that we’ve been playing well together and shows that we’re capable [of winning] close games. Our success this year shows just how hard coach Wright works. He puts in a ton of extra time scouting and watching film to prepare us for each and every game. He wants everyone to succeed individually and as a team. He is a great coach.”
Yess and his teammates are excited for what is coming in the postseason. He believes the Longhorns can duplicate last winter or do even better.
“As long as we play our game and play with high intensity [it can happen],” Yess said.
When he finishes his high school career, Yess, who also sports a 4.0 GPA, will play basketball at Yale. It was an easy choice, he said.
“For me, Yale has the perfect combination of athletics and academics,” Yess said. “I also have a strong relationship with the coaching staff which made it an easy decision. It is the perfect fit.”