Boys Tennis: Not much downtime for Homewood-Flossmoor’s Jeremy Miller
By Jeff Vorva For Sun-Times Media April 27, 2014 6:56PM
Whether in a choir robe, on stage or on a tennis court, Homewood-Flossmoor senior Jeremy Miller has enjoyed success. | Jeff Vorva/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 29, 2014 6:19AM
When the calendar changes the month Thursday, Homewood-Flossmoor senior Jeremy Miller will be in for a monster May.
Yes, there will be plenty of tennis to be played. But it will be more off-the-court activity that will take up his time.
The fun starts May 5, when Miller will be inducted into the National Honor Society. Things get hectic May 8 and 9 when the Vikings travel to compete in the Normal University Invitational. As soon as that tourney is over, Miller will hustle to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to try to catch his sister, Jordan, graduate from Coe College.
On May 17, he and his teammates host the SouthWest Suburban Conference meet in the morning and afternoon. That night is H-F’s senior prom.
Five nights later, Miller will conduct a portion of the choir during the school’s Red and White competition. He is a singer and actor who has played roles ranging from Willie Wonka to a news reporter-turned-killer on stage, and has sung tunes in English, Italian and Spanish.
The next day, there’s the senior class picnic and class photo shoot in the morning followed by a 1 p.m. start for the sectionals. That night, he has a ceremony to attend in which he will inducted into the school’s Thespian Society.
He hopes to play more tennis May 24 and qualify for the state meet, which takes place May 29 through 31. June 1 is graduation.
Barring weather conditions, there doesn’t appear to be any conflicts in the schedule.
“It all kind of worked out really well, but a lot is happening,” Miller said. “When the state meet wraps up, hopefully, I can relax.’’
Then he paused.
“Then I can start my jobs over the summer teaching tennis at two country clubs,” he said.
The kid is busy.
Miller has high hopes that he and his teammates can make a lot of noise in the postseason. In 2012, he qualified in the state meet in doubles with Adam Griesbach. Last year, Miller qualified in singles, where he finished 2-2 and made it to the third round of consolation play.
Miller started playing tennis at age 10, which is later than most state elite players.
One of his early coaches, H-F Racquet Club pro Mike Milhouse, enjoyed watching him grow into a strong player who will continue his career at Wooster University.
“It feels awesome to see what he has done,” Milhouse said. “What we enjoy as coaches is more than the tennis. We see the maturity as a man and as a person. I like seeing the growth of the individual. In Jeremy’s case, he’s been playing tennis here and we’ve been able to watch him grow stronger mentally and physically. That’s what makes it rewarding for us as coaches and pros.’’
Through all of this, Miller has sickle cell trait, a light version of sickle cell anemia, which his sister has. It hasn’t slowed him, but there are studies that have shown that extreme activity can cause sudden death in athletes with the trait.
“It’s something I have to be aware of,” he said. “I have to know if I get tired that it’s not normal exhaustion. If I feel something different, I need to sit down and stay hydrated. Lucky, I don’t have sickle cell anemia, which is the full version of it.’’
Tennis has taken Miller all over the country. His singing and performing has taken him to Switzerland and Germany.
So what does Miller want to do when he gets out of college? A little of everything.
He plans to major in biology and wants to become either a physical therapist or personal trainer.
“I will continue to do as much community theater as I can,” he said. “Maybe I’ll audition for bigger shows if the time is right. I would like to travel the world for a while. That’s a big goal of mine. I want to continue singing and acting. And I want to continue playing tennis the rest of my life.’’