Boys soccer: Brett Heimerdinger pick Lyons Township over Chicago Magic
Northlake Monday 08.27.12. Lyons' Brett Heimerdinger (20) heads the ball as Leyden's Ricky Pimentel (11) looks on during their match on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, in Northlake. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Players to Watch
Fenwick: The Marquette-bound forward had 10 goals and 12 assists last year for the Catholic League runner-up. Fenwick (12-6-3) lost to eventual Class 2A state champion Mather in the sectional finals. Alberts and Mike Nowicki (10 goals) have Fenwick thinking about a conference title this season.
Osvaldo Castanon St. Joseph: The four-year varsity member and three-year starter becomes the anchor of the defense for the Chargers. “Osvaldo comes into the season with the most minutes and experience out of anyone on the team,” coach Stanley Niemiec said.
Gianluca Lo Casto Oak Park-River Forest: The Huskies won 20 games for the first time in coach Paul Wright’s seven years and Lo Casto, a three-year varsity player, will be big key toward trying to repeat. The senior midfielder hopes to rebound from an injury-plaqued season a year ago.
Oak Park-River Forest: The senior defender missed the last three regular season games and the playoffs last season due to a back injury. He returns as one of the Huskies’ top starters for a second consecutive year. “He is one of the best at reading the game,” Wright said.
Leyden: The three-year starter will be asked to take on more responsibility after scoring 12 goals and having 12 assists last season. Coach Mark Valintis plans on moving Recendez around at forward and midlfielder. “A highly technical player with speed and strength makes him extremely valuable to the success of our team this year,” Valintis said.
Updated: October 1, 2012 3:35PM
LA GRANGE — There was no doubt in Brett Heimerdinger’s mind that he was going to return to Lyons boys soccer team.
But coach Paul Labbato had his own doubts.
Labbato was very much aware that Heimerdinger’s club team, Chicago Magic Soccer Club, was pressuring its players to play for it year-round That would have meant players like Heimerdinger would be forced to miss the IHSA fall season. Labbato said it is a decision more clubs like Magic and Palatine-based Sockers are making to keep pace with the year-round Fire Soccer Academy.
“It was a tough decision for Brett,” Labbato said. “I said, ‘Make the one that feels good for you. I won’t count on you until I see you.’ ”
The senior midfielder never wavered, even after Lyons (14-5-3 last season) watched its season end in the sectional semifinals on penalty kicks to eventual Class 4A state champion Morton.
“I decided to play high school,” Heimerdinger said. “I didn’t want to miss out on this. I knew from the beginning that I was going to play high school, no matter what (the Magic) told me.”
Heimerdinger plans on returning to the Magic after Lyons’ season.
For now, he tries to act and perform as a captain for the defending West Suburban Silver champions.
“I have 100 percent confidence in all of my players,” Heimerdinger said.
Heimerdinger isn’t being counted on to carry the scoring load for Lyons (2-1) this season, but had at least one goal in both of the team’s first two games to open the season. He came up blank in a 3-0 victory over visiting Neuqua Valley Saturday.
“I have a different role,” said Heimerdinger, a La Grange resident. “I have taken after past captains. I’ve worked on getting the focus for us to try to get the team together. Team chemistry is huge for us.”
Heimerdinger is a co-captain this season with another top returnee, senior Ben Larson of La Grange. Larson is listed as a defender , but started at midfield Saturday opposite Heimerdinger.
Both Heimerdinger and Larson are longtime childhood friends. They both went to Cossett Elementary School and Park Jr. High together.
Lyons’ first tournament is the Pepsi Showdown Sept. 8 at home. Fourth-seeded Lyons plays Bartlett, with the winner advancing Sept. 11 against Loyola or Plainfield Central.