He’s the team leader with the “C” on his Stevenson uniform, yet it’s the classroom where Raffi Biedron truly shines.
The senior in his third season on the Stevenson varsity, Biedron is a straight-A student. He has never had a B in high school and his class load is filled with honors and AP classes. He had 13 AP classes this year and was the top student-athlete among all Stevenson winter sports with a 4.78 GPA – out of 4.
“I like to push myself in the classroom, which stems from my parents and my brother. They have been role-models, motivating me to succeed in school,” Biedron said. “My parents, Jolanta and Andy, are both immigrants. I feel the pressure to succeed and make them proud.”
Robert Biedron was a three-year star defenseman for the Patriots.
Now it’s Raffi in the spotlight – especially after Sunday night, March 13, when the Patriots defeated Saint Viator 5-0 to win the State Championship (Red Division), the first in Stevenson history.
“He’s physical on the ice, a strong player. He’s got a good shot and can finish. He’s got good hands and is hard to knock off the puck. Raffi is really good in the offensive zone; he’s a force,” said Stevenson head coach Tom Wood. “He’s like a (basketball) power forward; that’s how I describe him. He’s often in the right spot and the right time.”
Case in point: the elite eight round of the Illinois High School Hockey State Tournament on March 3. No. 3-seeded Stevenson went into overtime against No. 6 Saint Ignatius, and Biedron scored the game-winner. “That was huge, probably the top goal of my career,” he said.
Biedron, 17, who lives in Lincolnshire, plays left wing, often with center Andrew Lermer and right wing James Mendelsohn. It is the Patriots’ third line, but would no doubt skate as the top offensive line for most teams around the state. Stevenson is just loaded with offensive depth this season.
Biedron is still undecided on his college plans but wants to pursue a biomedical engineering degree.
“My main role on the team is, a leader. Getting the ‘C’ this season was pretty big for me. It really forced me to step into that role, much more than previous years,” Biedron said. “My job as the team leader has been easy as we did not have many quarrels or disputes. I’ve just worked to further bring us all together.
“My role on the ice is more of a grinder. I wouldn’t really say I’m a pretty player. I just work hard and get dirty goals.”
Biedron and Will Harlow are the Stevenson captains.
“This was one of the closest teams I’ve ever played on. It really has been a brotherhood; we really are close, a tight knit – and that’s helped us succeed,” Biedron said.
Slapshots With …. Stevenson senior Raffi Biedron
His easiest class: English
His most difficult class: “Calculus or algebra … both are really, really challenging.”
Off-the-ice: Enjoys working-out, especially during the off-season.
Helping others: Is a part of Stevenson’s Freshman Mentor Program (FMP), which helps first-year students adjust to high school.
Hobbies: Video games and ping pong