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Brookfield’s Heater anchors with Navy football

Warriors' lineman details commitment to USNA

Submitted photo. Brookfield’s Connor Heater recently announced his commitment to play football at the U.S. Naval Academy.

BROOKFIELD — Connor Heater makes no bones about his preferred style of play.

“I like run blocking and playing hard and physical and punching people in the mouth,” said the Brookfield standout offensive lineman, who stands at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds.

Heater found the perfect match for that mentality, as he announced May 21 his commitment to continue his football career at the U.S. Naval Academy when he finishes high school.

The current junior said he’ll play guard or center for the Midshipmen, who run the triple option on offense.

“I just fell in love with it,” Heater said of the opportunity to play at Navy. “They gave me a little presentation, and I fell in love with it immediately and wanted to go there. So I talked it over with my family and everything, and we decided it was the best place for me and we were ready to pull the trigger, so I did.”

A few things beyond the football field also went into that decision. In addition to being the right fit as a player, Heater had an interest in serving in the military, just as many of his family members have done.

After completing his degree at the USNA, Heater will have plenty of options — either in the U.S. Navy or the Marine Corps. Right now, he says he’s leaning toward the Marines.

“My dad was in the Marines, so I think I’m going to end up doing that,” he explained.

Heater also held offers from FCS program Eastern Kentucky as well as Division II programs Tiffin and Notre Dame College.

“I talked to almost every school in this area and then a lot of bigger schools, too,” Heater said. “Everyone was kind of just nibbling and nibbling. I felt like if I got one bigger offer, then a bunch would come, but I ended up liking Navy enough that I was ready to go.”

He added, “The campus is amazing, and the opportunities you have after you graduate are awesome. So it was a little bit of everything.”

Heater said he’ll first head to the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS), which has a football program on which many younger players with Navy football play. NAPS plays other prep schools, including an end-of-season matchup with the Military Academy Preparatory School, which is Army’s program.

“I’m excited, obviously to play football, and to meet a lot of good people and be in the military,” Heater said. “I’d say I’m also a little nervous to be in the military.”

Before that time comes, though, Heater has another year with the Warriors. He has a few personal goals he wants to accomplish while he can.

“Honestly, just dominate every play,” he said. “And then we’re trying to win state. We haven’t done it in a while here (Brookfield’s only state title came in 1978), and I think we have the kids to do so. We just have to get everyone in the right mindset and believe in it.”

To that end, he said he feels the Warriors are making strides.

“I think (Wednesday) was a really big step toward that with everyone pushing each other and holding each other accountable,” he said. “I think we all do that, and we’ll have a really good chance of (winning a state championship).”

jwhetzel@tribtoay.com

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