MONROEVILLE, Ind. (WANE) – There’s a new voice at Heritage High School, but it’s a voice very familiar to Highlight Zone fans.
Casey Kolkman, a 1991 Heritage graduate, is in his first year leading the Patriots program after taking over for Nico Tigulis. The Patriots went 8-33 in four years under Tigulis.
Kolkman spent the past two years as the defensive coordinator at Bishop Dwenger, helping lead the Saints to the 4A state title in 2018. He’d previously been the head coach at both Bluffton and North Side.
Heritage is coming off a 2-9 mark last fall, but there’s reason for optimism in Monroeville – and it starts with 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior defensive end/linebacker Kiel Eldridge. Eldridge has had an impressive summer, including picking up scholarship offers from Purdue and Toledo. He tallied 28 tackles, 7 TFLs, and 3 sacks as a sophomore.
Clay Riddle, a second-team All-ACAC selection, will help lead the defensive line, as the Patriots look to improve on a unit that yielded 37 points a game last fall.
Other key returnees on defensive are linebacker Gage Pritchard (72 tackles) and defensive back Beau Bosler (43 tackles).
Offensively, starting quarterback Parker Tracey has graduated, but Pritchard and Bosler combined for just under 1,000 yards rushing last season and will be counted on again.
The Patriots are scheduled to open the season August 21 at home against Eastside.