Geneva junior lacrosse player Brandon Heimlich made the cut at a Midwest regional tryout and has been selected as a Brine National All-Star. As such, he's eligible to represent Illinois on the Midwest team at the sixth annual Brine National Lacrosse Academy and National Classic. The event will be held June 30-July 3 at the Maryland Soccerplex in Boyds, Md.
According to the Geneva lacrosse website Heimlich, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound attack, has scored 33 goals with 18 assists for the Vikings, listed at 8-9 entering Friday's second-round Class B playoff game against the winner of Wednesday's game between Huntley and Warren (as we've become accustomed to say, weather permitting). Heimlich scored 5 goals against Belvidere and had another 5-goal breakout when it really mattered, Geneva's first game against Batavia.
The Brine folks also offer middle schoolers a similar opportunity. Sean Mills, an eighth grader at Rotolo Middle School in Batavia, took advantage of the chance and likewise earned status as a National All-Star. Next year Mills, a midfielder, will perhaps get an opportunity to attempt to avenge Batavia High's two losses to Geneva.
Mills also happens to be the younger brother of former Bulldogs tennis player Kaitlin Mills. who as a freshman tennis player at Case Western Reserve went 7-3 in singles play, 5-1 in doubles.
Catching up with Justin Bowman
Earning a fourth trip to the tennis state finals in singles, Justin Bowman became St. Charles East's first boys player to compile 100 career victories when he won his first match at the Geneva sectional, helping the Saints to a second straight sectional title. "JBo" felt compelled to reach the century mark since older sister Erin did it before graduating in 2011; he has another sister, Lauren Corgan, who graduated in 2008. Justin's mother, Sue, plays recreationally and his father, Mark, was a prep player at Joliet Catholic. Owning a lifetime record of 102-25 at St. Charles East, Justin went 31-2 this season with one loss to teammate Jasper Koenen in the sectional final for a second straight season, retiring after one set to rest a lower back that's given him trouble. The Tennis Recruiting Network ranks Bowman 30th among Illinois seniors. After also considering Grand Valley State, Ferris State and Carthage he chose Wisconsin-Whitewater both for its tennis program and business curriculum. He's played tennis since he was 8 years old. Bowman, who graduates Sunday, got a difficult draw to open his singles bracket Thursday at Rolling Meadows -- No. 5 seed Eric Marbach of Waubonsie Valley, who the Tennis Recruiting Network ranks fourth in Illinois and 90th nationally. Bowman will attempt to advance using a strong forehand and serve.
Q: How's it feel to win 100 tennis matches on the varsity level?
A: It's a really good accomplishment for me. My sister (Erin) did it, so I wanted to try to get at her level where she was at.
Q: Is there a rivalry between you two?
A: No. She's not as good as me. We play a bunch and she never wins.
Q: What is your advantage?
A: I would say when the match is longer she can't always finish it. She (gets fatigued).
Q: So you try to run her back and forth?
A: Uh-huh, that's exactly what I do.
Q: What do you consider your best high school victory?
A: I would say beating (St. Charles North's) Dominic Amalraj in the semifinals of the sectionals.
Q: How'd you do it?
A: My serve and my volleys. I was coming in a lot against him and putting the ball away.
Q: Outside of high school, where do you train at?
A: I practice at the Score Tennis Club (in Countryside) and at the Hinsdale Racquet Club. I hit with a lot of kids that go to Hinsdale Central. It's always good to hit with better players.
Q: What do you find frustrating about tennis?
A: I would say just missing your shots and not winning your point. You have the point all set up and you missed your opportunity. It doesn't happen that often, but still it's really frustrating.
Q: What have you learned from Saints coach Rob Livermore?
A: I've learned to stay calm on the court. Just stay on the court and fight it out and play till the end.
Q: What do you like to do away from the tennis court?
A: Pretty much just hang out with my friends and instead of playing tennis maybe playing a different sport like football and basketball.
Q: What are your favorite school subjects?
A: My favorite classes are English and engineering drafting.
Q: But you're going into business at Whitewater?
A: I'm trying to get into the auto industry business because I really like cars. Since I was little I've just always been into cars, and I drive a BMW.
Q: How many lawns did you have to cut for that?
A: I didn't pay for it!
Q: I didn't buy my 1992 Buick Roadmaster, either. What car would you eventually like to own?
A: I'd have to say the Bugatti. It's similar to a Ferrari or a Lamborghini.
Q: Cool. You said you suffered from spasms in your lower back. Are you surprised to get this far this season?
A: Yeah, to recover from that was pretty surprising. I didn't even know if I was going to play in conference.
I just did, like, a wrong move. I wasn't even playing any sport, it was just a wrong move that tweaked it ... It's not 100 percent but it's a thousand times better than what it was.
Q: So then -- what's your goal for the state meet?
A: My goal for state is to do better than the rest of the years I've been there. Because I'm a senior and older I have more experience. Just progress.
Follow Dave on Twitter @doberhelman1