One of two seniors on the Batavia football team’s starting offensive line, 6-foot-3, 250-pound Max Heidgen has helped anchor a highly regarded O-line that includes fellow tackle Jack Breshears, center Patrick Gamble and guards Zach Tate and Connor McKeehan, the unit’s other senior. In this week’s Weekend Chit-chat with Chronicle sports editor Jay Schwab, the Bulldogs’ good-ole No. 79 weighed in on Thanksgiving food, Batavia’s line moving on after a season-ending injury to standout guard Mitch Krusz and, of course, today’s Class 6A state championship game against Richards. The following is an edited transcript:
What turned you into an offensive lineman?
Really, my body type. I just have the perfect, I guess prototype, offensive lineman [build]. Obviously, too big and slow to be a receiver or running back or anything. I like to hit so [offensive line] seemed good for me.
What aspects of your technique are most critical for you to have success with your matchup each week?
I’ve just got to be smart, run the plays well. Not only block the defensive linemen but get to the next level and get their linebackers.
You guys obviously lost a heck of a lineman in Mitch (Oct. 11 against St. Charles North); what was the process like as a line to regroup from that and make sure you guys didn’t take a big hit?
Well, it really gave us something to bond with, for Mitch, to win a game for Mitch, like ‘This one’s for Mitch, we’ve got to win because he’s not here to win it with us.’
Richards’ defense has only given up 12 points through four playoff [wins]. Obviously you guys saw them close up on top of that, so what would you say about the caliber of their defense?
They’re very good. They’re very aggressive. They have some really good athletes, but we’ll do well against them for sure. We’ll correct our mistakes we made last time we played them.
Do you guys have to adjust your caloric intake on Thanksgiving at all with the state championship game only 48 hours away, or not so much?
I’m going to eat a little less than I normally would, that’s for sure.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?
When you take the field at Huskie Stadium this afternoon, what do you think’s going to be going through your mind?
Wow, this is the biggest game of my life and it’s also the last, so it’s going to be something special for sure.