Connor Heater’s dad was a Marine and his grandfathers served in the Army, but he wasn’t thinking about entering the military until he learned “what all you could do from that,” said the Brookfield High School senior, who has signed a letter of intent to play football at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
“It’s a great opportunity to get a really good education, play really good, high-level football and also set yourself up for the rest of your life and do something that’s bigger than yourself,” Connor, an offensive lineman, said at his signing ceremony on Feb. 1.
Classmates Donovan Pawlowski and Isaiah Jones also signed commitment letters that day, Donovan to attend the University of Mount Union in Alliance, and Isaiah to attend Ashland (Ohio) University.
“This is dedication and hard work at its best,” said head football coach Randy Clark, who called the signings “big for the community, big for the school.”
“It’s a proven fact, you work hard, good things will happen,” Clark said. “They’re going to great universities, all three of them, very successful programs, and they’re gonna be very successful.”
Isaiah, a wide receiver, said playing football in college has been a dream.
“It just felt like a home,” he said of Ashland. “Coaches there were very welcoming, the players were. It was the best for me.”
Donovan, a quarterback, said he got the at-home feeling at Mount Union.
“The Mount Union coach and staff was just extremely nice to me and then it really came down to campus and at-home feeling, and I really felt like I was at home with Mount Union,” Donovan said.
Donovan said he expects his summer will be “many lifts, many throwing sessions, but I’m just gonna go in there and work as hard as I possibly can to get as much playing time as possible.”
“I’m gonna prepare myself, work hard, do what I’ve been doing during football season and do my best,” Isaiah said.
Connor said he expects meeting the physical requirements of the Navy and playing football will be tough, “but I guess I like to think I’m a tough person, so I hope I’m able to do it.”
He also said he thinks the competition from the teams Brookfield played this year has prepared him to step up to a higher level.
“I think we played a lot of tough kids around here,” Connor said. “I know it will be a big jump, obviously, but I think I’m pretty well prepared for it.”
Connor will study exercise science. Like Isaiah and Donovan, he was first team all county, all league, and northeast Ohio. Connor also was honorable mention all state, while Donovan was second team all state and Isaiah was third team all state.
Donovan also was Trumbull County Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. He plans to study sports management in college.
Isaiah plans to study business in college.