Continuity among the coaching staff has been a hallmark of Highland Park’s success. So when defensive coordinator Cale Melton left the program for a head coaching job at Kingwood, the Scots didn’t need to search far and wide for a replacement.
Veteran assistant Bobby Leidner will take charge of a defensive unit that will return four starters and others with postseason experience.
“Our guys believe in what we’re doing,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “The players are familiar with it, and we just build on it.”
The strength of the group — literally — will be at inside linebacker. Hard-hitting Patrick Turner is a three-year starter who has verbally committed to Navy. Marshall Landwehr also is equally adept at defending the run or the pass.
Tanner Schrank and Ford Frazar return at cornerback, while safety Walker Cobb saw plenty of action last season defending some potent aerial attacks.
“We have experience and depth,” Allen said. “They’re much more physical, and they understand our system better. You’ll see an improved secondary because of the experience they gained last year.”
The Scots will be less seasoned along the defensive front, following the departure of standout lineman Prince Dorbah to the University of Texas. Jack Curtis is the top returnee, with Cameron Laurie and nose tackle Isaiah Pedack assuming larger roles.
“We have a lot of guys who played significant minutes on defense last year,” Landwehr said. “Guys can step up and play those roles. Those shoes can be filled.”
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