Krejs hopes senior class can help Scots achieve historic playoff success
Jack Krejs has played just about every conceivable position on the soccer field for Highland Park, which is appropriate considering his multifaceted devotion to the program.
Krejs is eager to help lead Scots back to playoff prominence in his senior year, which also will be the latest campaign for a family legacy that spans multiple generations.
His father, Patrick, played for the Scots’ state runner-up team in 1987, which still is the best season in school history. His uncle played for HP, too, and so did older brother, Patrick Jr., who graduated in 2020. One of his cousins plays for the HP girls squad.
We still have a lot more that we can accomplish.Jack Krejs
“That’s always been in my mind, to carry on what my dad and my older brother did,” said Jack Krejs. He played alongside his brother for a few games during his sophomore season when Jack split the year between the varsity and junior varsity levels.
“I remember my mom got a little emotional because it was the only time Patrick and I got to play together,” he said. “That was a really cool experience.”
That was in the first season for HP head coach Salvador Richie, who has engineered a turnaround that resulted in the Scots earning their first district title in more than two decades in 2021.
One key to that success has been the versatility and toughness of Krejs, who lines up primarily at center midfielder. Although slightly undersized for his position, the senior’s energy and tenacity are infectious.
“I would like to have 10 of Jack and a goalkeeper, and we’ll be fine,” Richie said. “If there’s an individual battle to be won, Jack will do it. He knows he’s going to get hammered, but he’s fearless and keeps battling.”
As this year’s team closes in on another District 13-5A championship, Krejs said the Scots are determined to make amends after an early playoff exit last season.
“That’s been the mentality all year,” he said. “Nobody wanted to feel how we felt after last season. We still have a lot more that we can accomplish.”
HP’s collective hunger adds to the personal motivation for Krejs, whose brother endured some rough seasons that helped provide a foundation for the program’s current upward trajectory.
The ultimate prize would be avenging his father’s 1-0 loss to San Antonio Alamo Heights in 1987 — well before Jack was even born.
“Hearing him talk about that throughout my childhood makes me want to get there and finish what he started,” Krejs said. “I truly believe that we’re capable of going that far.”