Homestead’s David Heiney is the 2017 News-Sentinel high school Boys Tennis Player of the Year

David Heiney, a junior at Homestead, is The News-Sentinel 2017 Boys Tennis Player of the Year. (News-Sentinel file photo)
Homestead junior David Heiney.
David Heiney, a junior at Homestead, is The News-Sentinel Boys Tennis Player of the Year. (News-Sentinel file photo)

If someone talked to you about a high school athlete being a consummate team player and compared him to Tom Brady, tennis probably isn’t near the first sport to come to mind.

But according to Homestead coach Kerry Mumma, junior David Heiney takes a laid-back approach as he embraces the team concept, and it has helped make him the 2017 News-Sentinel Boys Tennis Player of the Year.

“He’s almost just too cool. But Tom Brady, you see him on the sidelines hollering at players, and he can certainly get excited when something good happens,” Mumma noted. “You are kind of like, ‘He is just cool and relaxed and it is like he has everything figured out,’ and I would say David is kind of like that.”

Heiney has quickly risen up the ranks at Homestead, playing his junior year at No. 1 singles and helping the Spartans to a 20-2 overall record. They fell in the quarterfinals of the state tournament 3-2 to Park Tudor.

While Brady-esque in his coach’s eyes, Heiney too qualifies as a team-first guy, something often overlooked in tennis on the high school level.

“This has been my favorite season at Homestead because of our team, and we had such great chemistry,” Heiney said. “We all played so well together and had each other’s backs. I feel like that a big part of our success was being hyped on the court and cheering each other on, pushing each other in practice with intensity.”

Playing tennis since he was just 5 years old, Heiney is not like a lot of high school tennis players in that regard. He grew up watching his father, Skye, play in tournaments around the Midwest and really embraced the sport from an early age. That is a far cry from a lot of high school players, who don’t pick up a racket for years after Heiney first did.

He says it helps his approach on the court, but also back in that team concept where being a leader flows easier because of his experience on the court.

For Mumma, that experience was appreciated when he welcomed Heiney as a freshman. It was just the second year at the Homestead for the longtime coach, who formerly coached at Canterbury. But along with experience came a lack of a team-first approach for Heiney, who had grown up playing in tournaments with the backing of coaches, but not a large group like Homestead has.

“Being on a team has just really helped him as a person, and I think he enjoys the fact that, ‘I’ve got 38 people rooting for me, and they care about me and I care about them,'” Mumma said.

Heiney has already taken that turn as a freshman full circle. While still looking to advance deeper as an individual, his team-first, laid-back attitude helped propel the Spartans to that quarterfinal loss to Park Tudor. Heiney lost his match that day too, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-1. He was back swinging his racket all of one day later.

“I went out and practiced the very next day and then took a couple days off,” Heiney said. “Now I’m back to hitting twice a day every day,” he said of his 6 a.m. and after-school workout schedule. “For tennis players, the season doesn’t ever really end.”

If there is one thing that Heiney doesn’t take in stride, it is certainly inactivity. Besides his tennis schedule with and without his Spartan teammates, he also enjoys hunting, fishing, running, swimming and snow skiing. He likes to do just about anything, he says, other than “just laying around and doing nothing.”

“It helps, especially with my game style of being more of a grinder and trying to grind guys down,” Heiney said. “Doing all of those physical activities helps with my shape and with my match to stay in it and go all of the way to the very end.”

Mumma, too, sees that fire constantly burning, saying that during the three months he has with his No. 1 singles star, he works hard and never complains.

“A lot of No. 1’s, especially at his caliber, could try to mail it in, but he jumps right in literally from the first second of practice trying to get everyone better,” Mumma said. “Working with them, hitting with them, never ever complains about drills with lower-ranked kids.”

Mumma hopes to turn Heiney up to the next level in the off season, challenging him to know he can take the next step and buy in mentally to having a shot to be a state champion. Chances are, he won’t find much resistance in finding Heiney agreeable to his mission; it is the Tom Brady in him.

“He’s just that calm, cool, collected,” Mumma reiterated. “It just seems like he has everything figured out.”

For more prep sports, follow the news-sentinel.com team on Twitter at TheNSSports. The news-sentinel.com sports staff can be reached at nssports@news-sentinel.com

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• INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS COACHES ASSOCIATION ALL-STATE (DISTRICT 2):

Singles:

David Heiney, Homestead

Eli Herran, Leo

Ethan Radke, Carroll

Isaac Steiner, Leo

Daniel Gilbert, Homestead

Will Boyer, Concord

Daniel Gilbert, Homestead

Luke Stoffel, Carroll

Nishanth Reddy, Canterbury

Drew Hall, Blackhawk Christian

Simon Grevengoed, Northridge

Holden Price, Jimtown

Auden Eckert, Huntington North

Doubles:

Will Milne/Thomas Weir, Homestead

Evan Roth/Josh Jakacki, Leo

Jared Hoffman/Brant Mast, Northwood

Eric Nofzinger/Spencer Griffis, Angola

Arnie Lal/Graham Gnagy, Centerbury

Nicholas Graber/Tim Steiner, Homestead

Coach of the Year: Kerry Mumma, Homestead

• ALL-SUMMIT ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TENNIS:

First team singles:

Cole Scheible, Bishop Luers

Andrew Nuerge, Bishop Dwenger

Gevin Seifert, Concordia Lutheran

Johnny Woehnker, Bishop Luers

Brayden LaPan, Bishop Dwenger

Second team singles:

Luke Maskal, Bishop Dwenger

Nicholas Habig, Snider

First team doubles:

Drake LaPan/Adam Yaggy, Bishop Dwenger

Nicholas Sanderson/Caden Haft, Snider

Second team doubles:

William Murray/Grant Springer, Snider

Braxton Miller/Nathan Busch, Bishop Dwenger

• ALL-NORTHEAST EIGHT CONFERENCE TENNIS:

First team singles:

Adam Dills, East Noble

Auden Eckert, Huntington North

Eli Harran, Leo

Sam McDaniel, Leo

Isaac Steiner, Leo

Second team singles:

Addison Cruz, DeKalb

Ian Gerber, Norwell

Lucas Platt, East Noble

Jared Reutebuch, DeKalb

Robby Ysidron, Bellmont

First team doubles:

Mike Bender/Luke Denton, East Noble

Evan Roth/Josh Jakacki, Leo

Second team doubles:

Jack Gerber/Dylan Felger, Norwell

Michael Wetter/Oliver Gehres, Bellmont

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