EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

January 22, 2012

Around the Horn with ... Brendan Heinze, Timberlane hockey

How's your season going? "It's going pretty good. The team has been up and down. We have to find our groove. But we have a good team and we could make a run at it."

Did you hurt your knee? "I dislocated my knee in the Eastern Junior Hockey showcase playing for my uncle Andrew in July. I'm not 100 percent but I'm close. I have another knee injury, too."

The Heinze family is legendary in local hockey. Give us the background. "My father is Peter, he played for North Andover and UMass Lowell and was drafted in the supplemental draft (1986 Edmonton Oilers). My uncle Andrew played at Merrimack and is one of the all-time points leaders (77-89—166). He played pro in England. My uncle Steve played at BC (Hall of Famer) and in the 1992 Olympics and then with the Bruins (9 years), Blue Jackets, Sabres and Kings.

"My grandfather (Norm Heinze) played AAA baseball and did a great job raising the three who played hockey. He cheers all the grandkids on. My uncle Andrew has three kids who play hockey. One is a freshman girl, (Leah of North Andover) at Pingree. She's the oldest. My great uncle is Beep Foster. My uncle Tim Foster played at Merrimack."

Do you feel pressure being a Heinze? "It's tough to live up to. It's a double-edged sword. It's good and it's bad. People know who I am. I feel the pressure to live up to my father and my two uncles. It's getting easier. I'm older and can handle it better. I still feel some pressure. I just try to go out and have a good time. I love the game as much as they do."

Some kids play juniors instead of for their high school team. Did you consider that? "I decided to come back and try to win a state championship with Coach Dugan. Me and best friend, Nolan Dow, were named captains. That made the decision easier."

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