@PrepSportsRep – CornerKICKSMedia.com
Geneseo senior defender Alex Slaymaker is ready to make some noise in the Chicago area — again.
Last spring, Slaymaker advanced to the IHSA state tennis finals, where he won one of his three singles matches played in Palatine. Two years ago, Slaymaker split his two doubles matches in the state finals.
Now in his final season playing soccer, Slaymaker is set to return to the area to compete in the BODYARMOR Series at Olympic Park in Schaumburg. The senior said his squad is excited for the two-hour journey to test themselves against some of the best teams in Illinois.
“Our team has been looking forward to the BODYARMOR Series ever since we saw it on our schedule,” Slaymaker said. “We’re looking forward to playing against teams we don’t usually see in our normal season. If we keep playing as a team and working hard in practice, we can see a lot of success this year as a team.”
Before Slaymaker picks a college, he plans on picking a sport. His senior season is full of promise in both sports. A three-year starter in soccer, Slaymaker is one of seven returning starters for the Maple Leafs.
“I don’t have a sport that I consider my main (one), because during the soccer season I devote all my time to soccer and when it’s tennis season, I focus all my time on tennis,” Slaymaker said. “Since I don’t play a winter sport, I spend that time playing both.”
Geneseo coach Harvey Morton said his program is excited about the challenge of competing in the BODYARMOR Series for the first time. Morton said the girls program also will compete in the prestigious tournament in April 2023. The Maple Leafs have won back-to-back Class 2A regional titles.
“It’s a good opportunity for us,” Morton said. “We’re always looking for more exposure for some of our guys.
“We’ve had about a half dozen kids go on to play college soccer over the last three years. We would like to take that next step for exposure, so this is a good opportunity to get some of my players that exposure in front of college coaches. We also have the players to be competitive.”
Senior midfielder Matt Daly noted that the high-level tournament is a good measuring stick for the Maple Leafs, who play in the competitive Western Big 6 Conference.
“I love competition,” Daly said. “I know going into the BODYARMOR Series that we’re a lot smaller than a couple of the schools we may play against.
“But with our roster that we’re bringing, I’m confident we will compete. We have a large senior class that’s smart with the ball. We’re ready for what the tournament brings.”
Bio on reporter: Bob Narang has been covering prep recruiting and sports for the past 28 years. His work also appears in the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.