It’s May 25, 2020. Two months into Covid. Then-126 pound Bishop Union High School Freshman Will Hennarty is watching an inspirational YouTube video of Oklahoma State University wrestler Daton Fix.
Fix talks about fulfilling a personal goal of doing 100,000 push-ups in a year.
Hennarty does the math. That’s an average of about 300 push-ups a day.
So he takes on the challenge.
And by the time Bishop returns to in-seat instruction during his sophomore year, even his friends have a hard time recognizing Will Hennarty.
As a wrestler, Hennarty won the High Desert League title in his weight class three times during his high school career (the wrestling season was canceled his sophomore year).
He won a CIF title his senior year (at 170 pounds) and was the first male Bishop wrestler to go to the state championships since 1985.
But this is the funny part.
Wrestling isn’t even Hennarty’s #1 sport. It’s more of a side gig.
The sport he was recruited for was … Cheerleading. Which, at the collegiate level, is a fusion of acrobatics, dance and gymnastics.
Will Hennarty? He’s one of those guys who can lift a woman over his head, twirl her around and set her back down precisely and in perfect time.
And make it look effortless.
Hennarty actually met Daton Fix a few weeks ago during a visit to Stillwater, Oklahoma, which Hennarty describes as, “Like Bishop, but with a college campus in the middle of it.” He’ll be spending his next years in Stillwater, as Oklahoma State has offered Hennarty a spot on its Cheer roster for next year.
A full roster, he says, is generally comprised of 15-20 men and 15-20 women, of which 11 men and nine women are chosen to represent during a competition.
Hennarty was a recent recipient of the Nicholas Capehart Cheer Memorial Scholarship.
He got into Cheer at the age of 14, when a parent of a friend saw him doing backflips at the City Pool and suggested he try it.
That quickly evolved into camps and private sessions at Weber State University, which is a Cheer powerhouse and has won seven national titles.
Weber State hosts the Wildcat Cheer invitational, which draws teams from throughout the west. Hennarty won the pairs competition with Bishop teammate Jade Scott during his junior and senior years of high school.
When you ask him about his time at BUHS, he says, “I’ve loved it there. Best place to go to school.”
His favorite teachers were Jeff Perry for English (he took two AP classes with Perry) and Corinna Quintana for Economics/AP Government and AP Psychology.
He graduated 6th in his class of approximately 150.
His favorite high school moment: Getting to MC the Senior send-off rally.
His favorite place in the Eastern Sierra: Rawson Creek.
And the person he gives most of the credit to for his success: Mom.
“My mom did everything,” he said of the college selection process, as many schools wanted Will for Cheer. “We visited twenty colleges all over the U.S. I wouldn’t be going forward without her.”
He also credits Cheer Coach Addie Miears. “She told me during my freshman year that I could do this in college.”
At the time he was about 5’2” and 100 lbs. He’s now 5’11” and 170 lbs.
He plans on studying finance and accounting in college.