Role will grow: Fourth-year starter ready to be leader

In the past, Cory Heinrichs demonstrated leadership in the Center Grove football program through his effort more than his words.

A four-year starter at tight end, the senior now finds himself having to be more vocal than ever.

“As the only returning starter on offense, I’ll have the most experience,” the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Heinrichs said. “I’ll have to lead my teammates and keep everyone calm. I’m not too vocal but will be if I see something that needs to be done.”

Heinrichs knows he’s not going to be the target of many pass attempts in Center Grove’s run-oriented wing-T offense (he has 17 career receptions).

His primary value is in using his sizable frame to clear running lanes for the Trojans’ many backs.

The program is 35-6 in Heinrichs’ three seasons on varsity. Center Grove won a Class 6A state title in Heinrichs’ sophomore season — running the table with a 14-0 record — and was runner-up last fall.

“Cory is a kid who has a thousand reps and played in the biggest games. He’s really had a great career for us,” 19th-year Trojans coach Eric Moore said. “He’s learned a lot and improved a lot. He brings toughness, strength and athletic ability to our team.”

Most of the starters from those squads graduated, which leaves Heinrichs, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound senior, shouldering more leadership responsibilities than ever before.

This entails making sure teammates are on time for practice and meetings, as well as emphasizing the importance of proper diet and rest. It’s also about demonstrating respect to teachers, coaches, fellow students and parents in front of younger teammates.

Earlier this week, Heinrichs made a verbal commitment to play football at Indiana State University beginning in 2018.

His play in his final season at Center Grove will go a long way in determining what level of success the team experiences.

The Trojans open the season Aug. 18 at Warren Central.

“I’m just beyond blessed to be part of Center Grove football,” Heinrichs said. “I love playing for a program that’s so successful and given me the opportunities I’ve had.”

The Heinrichs file

Cory Heinrichs

Age: 18

Born: Indianapolis

Family: Parents D.J., Kristy and Tracey (stepmother); brothers Eric, 31, Jourdin, 25, Brady, 12, and Carter, 11; stepsisters Reagan, 17, and Lindsey, 15; stepbrother Nolan, 13.

Favorite TV show: “SportsCenter”

Favorite foods: Steak, potatoes and greens

Favorite movie: “Point Break”

Favorite athlete: Marshawn Lynch

Favorite team: Dallas Cowboys

Author photo
Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at