Patriots hungry after postseason run cut short last year


LINCOLN CITY, Ind. (WEHT) – For head coach Nate Hawkins and the Heritage Hills Patriots, winning has never been the issue.

In the past three seasons, Heritage Hills finished with a combined record of 64-9. Yet, they didn’t have any hardware to show for it

That is, until last year, when the patriots won their first sectional title since 2003.

The Patriots didn’t get to relish in that history for long, though, as their postseason run was cut short at the hands of COVID-19 before they could play in the 3A regional.

But now that they know how quickly their sport can be taken away, they’re not taking anything for granted.

It was tough,” said Hawkins. “It really was tough. And obviously, I think that it helped this group of seniors that came back, to understand that it can be done at any time and that we don’t take anything for granted.

It’s definitely one of those things moving forward that’s keeping us going,” said senior forward Blake Cissly. “I think that we’ve got some new guys on the team this year, and they’re chasing that, too. They’re chasing that feeling. So, that’s really a big common goal of ours.

So far this season, Heritage Hills has shown little sign of slowing down. They’re off to a 9-0 start, and ranked No. 1 in 3A.

They’ve been leaning heavily on Cissly, who’s averaging more than 22 points per game. Cissly’s success, coupled with a strong veteran core composed of seven seniors will be critical if the Patriots hope to go on another postseason run.

(This story was originally published on January 21, 2021)

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