Football heritage: Morrilton's Reese Heidenreich

by Levi Gilbert

Morrilton senior Reese Heidenreich never had a chance.

The son of a high school coach, he was born into football — destined to love the game.

“I’ve been around football my whole life,” Heidenreich said. “I grew up around it; I guess I just kind of fell in with the crowd. Since I was 4 years old, I was always hanging out around the field house, and I just fell in love with the game.”

His father, Fritz Heidenreich, is the head coach at Quitman.

“We talk about offense during the football season,” Reese said. “We’ll talk about formations and coverages pretty regularly. It’s a common conversation between us.”

Heidenreich and the Devil Dogs took it to the next level in 2012, taking second in the 5A West and picking up their first playoff win in years in the first round over Jacksonville, 42-14.

“We were dominating Jacksonville, who is a good football team,” Reese said. “I fielded a punt and took it to the right. Everything just collapsed. I pulled a Joe Adams and reversed the field and took it the other way. I look back at it a lot on Hudl. I watch it over and over again.”

Morrilton senior Reese Heidenreich is a member of the 2013 501 Football Team. (Mike Kemp photo)

For Heidenreich — a member of this year’s 501 Football Team — getting to that point in the playoffs in 2012 was a long journey, marred by several setbacks.

“I’ve had countless injuries,” he said. “My sophomore year I had a concussion against Siloam Springs and didn’t get to play in the playoff game. That spring, I broke my leg in baseball and missed spring practices. I got back into summer ball and then tore my MCL and missed the first few games of last season. Finally I got back on the field against Shiloh Christian, scored on a punt return, cut into the end zone and rolled my ankle. I guess you could say I’m injury prone.”

But through it all Heidenreich fought back time after time. His resilience paid off as the Devil Dogs got that first round playoff win in 2012.

“I just have a passion to play — a desire,” he said. “When you step out on the field under the lights, you hear the crowd behind you, that desire just comes out of you to give it your all.

“I’m a leader on the team, and I am looking to help us get back to the playoffs. My goal is to get 1,000 all-purpose yards. We want to build on last year’s success. We can’t get back to the same spot. We have to get further.”

The Devil Dogs (1-1) travel to Searcy this week for a showdown between fellow 501 Football Team receivers: Heidenreich versus Searcy’s Karonce Higgins.