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Morton's Whitaker, Dunlap's Heiar win CSM Fall Athletes of the Week




Two Mid-Illini athletes, Carly Whitaker of Morton volleyball and Joseph Heiar of Dunlap soccer, won CSM Fall Athletes of the Week, presented by Jake Weston State Farm, after earning the most votes in their respective Girls Athlete of the Week and Boys Athlete of the Week polls conducted earlier in the week.


Read more about our winners, their accomplishments and a Q and A with each of them below:


Whitaker won Girls Athlete of the Week with 49 percent of the vote total in the girls poll. She and the Potters ended Metamora's longtime conference win streak with a 23-25, 25-23, 25-21 win over the Redbirds last Tuesday and picked up another Mid-Illini win with a two-set sweep over Pekin on Thursday. The junior posted a double-double against Metamora with 14 kills and 10 digs, along with two assists, two blocks and an ace. She added four kills and a team-high two aces against Pekin. The Potters have now won six conference games in a row and sit at 9-3 in Mid-Illini play and 21-5 overall.


Get to know Whitaker in a Q and A here:


Q. What’s been your favorite memory of the season so far?

A. Our season started at a team camp at Purdue. We stayed in the dorms and I enjoyed the team bonding. Beating Metamora was pretty sweet too.


Q. If you had to be stranded on an island with a teammate, who would it be and why?

A. Hannah Nieukirk because she is so smart that she would figure out a way to get us off the island.


Q. Favorite music artist?

A. Morgan Wallen


Q. Favorite food?

A. Steak

Q. Do you have any pregame routines/rituals?

A. Before every game, I always braid my teammates' hair and drink a protein shake

Q. Who’s your favorite college or professional athlete?

A. Logan Eggleston, who was an outside hitter for the Texas Longhorns


Q. Who’s your role model and why?

A. My grandma is my role model because she has always set a good example for me.


Q. Do you have any hidden talents?

A. This isn't really a talent, but I'm proud to say I'm recovered from ACL surgery in less than eight months.


Q. What’s your dream career?

A. Dentist or orthodontist


Joseph Heiar of Dunlap boys soccer won Boys Athlete of the Week with 42 percent of the vote total in the boys poll. The sophomore goalkeeper made multiple nice saves in a key conference clash against Washington on Saturday that ended up being the game that decided the Mid-Illini title. With Dunlap leading 2-1 with under a minute to play, Heiar saved the win for the Eagles spectacularly, flying and diving in the air to punch away a breakaway shot from Washington's Eric Nolte. Heiar also preserved a scoreless draw against Morton earlier in the week that proved to pivotal in Dunlap winning the Mid-Illini title, along with another clean sheet in a 7-0 non-conference win over Bloomington.


Get to know Heiar in a Q and A here:


Q. What’s been your favorite memory of the season so far?

A. It definitely has been when me and my team had to start at midfield with a ball and our goal was to kick it into the goal. If you were the last to do so and then sit down, then everyone would form a tunnel and spray water all over you.


Q. If you had to be stranded on an island with a teammate, who would it be and why?

A. It would definitely be with Nick Lansford. He seems like the type of guy to get a lot of work done, who is smart, strong and fast.


Q. Favorite music artist?

A. I don't have a favorite because I listen to too many songs, so it's hard to choose.


Q. Favorite food?

A. It's got to be cereal because there are so many options.

Q. Do you have any pregame routines/rituals?

A. My pregame routine is praying and probably listening to music with my family on the car ride down to the field.

Q. Who’s your favorite college or professional athlete?

A. Matt Turner, because he is in the position as a professional athlete that I may want to be someday and he represents the USA in the way I would like to.


Q. Who’s your role model and why?

A. My dad because he is just someone who I would want to be in my life. He's funny, hard-working and just a good guy and dad.


Q. Do you have any hidden talents?

A. My hidden talent is that I attempt to sing, but not too good.


Q. What’s your dream career?

A. My career dream is to be determined, but potentially playing for the USA in the World Cup.

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