BY JACOB FIERMAN
The ball is passed from libero Alec Silverman to setter Chris Gai and is then set to middle blocker Dan Heintz. With incredible power, Heintz jumps high and hits the ball full force, earning a point for the Cooper City boys’ volleyball team. Although Heintz is only a sophomore, his amazing ability to score points and block shots help lead the Cowboys to victory. Heintz is quite the volleyball specimen because of his build and athleticism. But he not only has to fill his size 13 shoes but also the shoes of his brother, Josh Heintz, who was an incredible volleyball player for CCHS as well.
Heintz started playing volleyball back in 7th grade at Pioneer Middle School after his brother got him into it.
“Josh really liked the sport and so I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” Heintz said. “Once I started playing it, I realized how much I enjoyed it.”
When freshman year came along, Heintz signed up for Cooper City’s volleyball team. After showing up to play, he instantly impressed Coach Denise. In the first game, even though he was only a freshman, Heintz was chosen as a starter.
“When I made the team freshman year, I became the starting middle blocker and have kept the role ever since” Heintz said.
Heintz has a lot of dedication to the sport. He goes to practice every day and continues to train when practice is over. By working out daily he is able to keep up his physique and be in the best shape for each game.
“I practice hard every day,” Heintz said. “Usually after volleyball I’ll head straight to the gym to workout and improve things such as my jumping ability and upper-body strength.
This season Heintz has excelled at the middle blocker position. He is not only the dominant defender on the team but is also one of the top scorers. Whether he is going up to block a shot or is running a play, Heintz is always helping the team succeed.
“Dan is our most powerful hitter and our best blocker. We’re always looking to create ways to get him involved in the game,” Coach Denise said.
Even though he isn’t a captain, he is definitely a major leader on the team. Not only do less experienced players watch and learn from his correct plays, but he also helps personally instruct players on how to get better.
“Dan will help me comprehend some of the plays our team does like a “5” or an “A”, how to rotate, and how to perfect my hitting techniques,” sophomore Jared Cohen said.
Even though Heintz is the most dominant middle blocker on the team he hopes to possibly play other positions next season. Coach Denise has even allowed him to play in the back row in games because it allows him to better his passing skills.
“This year I played middle blocker but next year hopefully I can try out the swing hitter position like Josh did,” Heintz said.
As both the coach and teammates pointed out, Heintz has a bright future ahead of him. He is an amazing athlete with room to improve as well.
“We look forward to all of our underclassmen stepping up,” Denise said. “We have 3 seniors graduating but a good future ahead of us.”
Heintz wants to play all 4 years at Cooper City but he isn’t sure about going on to the next level. As of now, he plays competitively but he would rather pursue other interests.
“I really don’t have a desire to take it to the collegiate level,” Heintz said. “If an offer comes, I might think it over, but as of now it’s just a high school sport for me.”
Heintz sets the example for his team. He attends practice daily, works out to get better, and is always looking for ways to improve. Heintz brings forth his awesome talent as well as the ability to put a smile on his teammates faces. He has also become quite the fan favorite.
“Dan is essential to our team,” Cohen said. “He is serious when he needs to be on the court and will lighten the mood and bring smiles to our faces all the time.”