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July 9, 2012
Richmond High School



The Richmond Red Devils football program is undergoing more change and more drills this summer under new head football coach Matt Holleva. Previously the coach for Centerville, he has undergone the task of rebuilding the football program. His first steps towards doing that have been a rigorous summer agenda. Four days a week Monday through Thursday from 4-6:30 the coaches and kids are hard at work doing everything from speed development to heavy lifting. Each day is a new skill so that everything can be covered in a short amount of time as well as the problem of attendance, "I think that first week we didn't have a night under 100 kids. Since then with baseball and basketball tournaments we've probably been around in the 90s. I think it's been great participation so far, the kids are learning a lot and they're working hard."

They're working towards several things as they get closer and closer to the season but also for events happening this summer. There are several 7-on-7 competitions in line for this coming month, one at Northmont High School in Ohio.  It's a competition that Holleva is familiar with, having taken his Centerville football players there before. The other competition is at Heritage Christian will be bigger than Northmont but he's still confident.  "Right now everything's just getting in preparation to that and getting the kids to learn the new system,”says Holeva.  They'll not only get a chance to learn these things during the competitions but also during the summer team camp for high school students.” The camp runs from July 16 through July 20 and Holleva says that's when they'll really start pushing the boys further with full offensive and defensive run drills. Two weeks after that will be the start of two-a-days and he expects to see more solid play.

The work and play that goes on this summer and during tryouts will be the factors in who makes the team. Regardless of what happened last year, Holleva has decided to wipe the slate clean. "I don't care what they did last year whether they played, didn't play, started or quit. Whatever the case may be it's all about how you prove yourself from this point forward."  Each day the coaches take a snapshot of the players in regards to trust, dedication, participation and commitment. They focus on each kid the entire length of the summer so once two-a-days come around they'll be ready to make decisions. Despite that, he stresses that you really can't tell until the kids start playing live who will be the core of the teams’ players. "Hopefully by that first game we'll have the right pieces in place."

Once the season gets underway, Holleva can narrow down who is actually committed to the team and who isn't. He's been finding it hard to get a grasp on that because of the sporadic attendance. Week by week the team is getting better. The team starts off with a scrimmage against Pendleton Heights which will be a good gauge for the team to see where they're at. "Early on we're going to focus on being fundamentally sound and being tough and aggressive and making good decisions." The season starts off with East Central and he hopes that once they get passed that and into NCC play, the Devils will hold their own. He prospects to make it in the top three for his first year.


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