WHEATON – Julia Simon’s replacement has arrived at Wheaton North.
Simon set the school’s career record for steals before graduating last spring and is now playing soccer at Louisville.
Yet the Falcons didn’t have to wait long to find Simon’s heir apparent.
Sophomore Zoey Bohmer has made an immediate impact in several sports. Like Simon, she is a high-caliber soccer player, having started at goalkeeper as a freshman last spring.
Bohmer also played varsity golf this fall and now the 5-foot-9 guard is racking up steals at a blistering pace.
Bohmer made nine steals in helping the Falcons rout Bartlett 55-18 in Wednesday’s opening round of the Bill Neibch Falcon Classic. It was the second straight game Bohmer had that many steals.
“Yes, she is,” Wheaton North coach David Eaton said when asked if Bohmer is his new defensive stopper. “She has a nose for the ball.
“She’s a tremendous athlete and you can see it on the floor just by the way she moves. She just moves differently.”
Bohmer, who also had seven points and two assists Wednesday, made six steals in the first half as the fourth-seeded Falcons (10-2) jumped out to a 35-10 lead. She wasn’t the only one with sticky fingers as Wheaton North came up with a whopping 31 steals.
Allie Whitmer and Eden Pearson each had five steals, while Claire Hyde and Sara Abdul had three apiece.
“We always look to anticipate,” Bohmer said. “We can see the whole court, so we know when to move and anticipate.”
Nobody does it better than Bohmer, who disrupted Bartlett’s offense so often that the Hawks (0-12) attempted only 17 shots while committing 39 turnovers.
“I always try to be that person that’s working hard no matter what, mostly on defense because I know that’s what my role is,” Bohmer said. “I know I can really step it up on defense and get those steals to really help our team out.”
Bohmer was one of six Falcons who scored in the first quarter. She picked off one pass at midcourt and scored on a layup to make it 20-5.
“After we got a couple steals, that really pushed us to keep getting more,” Bohmer said.
The Falcons don’t have a lot of experienced players outside of Hyde, a Division I prospect who tallied 11 points against Bartlett, but players like Bohmer have helped the team jell quickly.
“I was talking to her parents and I said as tremendous an athlete that she is, she’s an even better person,” Eaton said. “She is so much fun to coach and a genuinely nice kid.”
Bohmer is not the only young player who has impressed Eaton. Abdul, a freshman guard, has cracked the starting lineup and led all players with 12 points against Bartlett, including eight in the third quarter when the Falcons outscored the Hawks 20-2 to extend their lead to 55-12.
“Sara does a lot of things for us and she’s got a ton of talent,” Eaton said. “She’s getting better and better every game and she does things that you don’t see a lot of kids do.
“She’s going to be a really good player.”
Abdul already has the right attitude.
“I’m just trying to play my hardest,” Abdul said. “I know I’m a freshman, but I know if I just play aggressive enough, I can hang with anyone on the court.”
Linsday Shanahan contributed nine points, six rebounds and two assists while Pearson and Mira Spillane added seven points each for the Falcons, who are proving they can play with anyone.
“We’ve started off pretty strong,” Bohmer said. “So I’m looking forward to these next couple games to keep working hard and showing other teams what we can do.”