A new era

By: By David Johnson - Sports Writer

By David Johnson

Sports Writer

In a changing of the guard, the Robert Hill era is beginning with Hobbton High School football.

Hill, whose father, Robert Hill, Sr. spent many years on the sidelines of Clinton High School assisting the coaching staff, is a football fanatic. He spends a great deal of time watching college and professional football looking for ways to help his team. He had a very successful program in his 12 years at Union Middle. He also has a history with Hobbton, as he was an assistant in the 1993 State Championship season for the Wildcats.

Hill has 18 upperclassmen returning.

“We have seniors Bradley Gurrola, Steven Bell and Gregory Herring coming back,” said Hill. “All three had plenty of playing time in past years. My main strength right now is my assistant coaches. I’m trying to learn what’s been going on and trying to put the pieces together. High school is much different from coaching in middle school. My defensive coach, Steve Mallard, is big help. He is teaching me a lot about high school coaching.”

Hill enters the season with optimism, as he mentioned last year’s JV team and the impact they could make on this team.

“The JV team was pretty successful last year and we are going to count on a lot of sophomores playing this year,” said Hill.

The new headman at HHS is big on changing the culture around the football program, and has noted that he is trying to install a winning mentality in his first season there. He believes that is the first step of turning the program around.

“I think the kids want to see more wins,” he said. “I want to see more wins. If we can have a successful year, grow and learn and do things like we are supposed to do, I think the wins will take care of themselves.”

The Wildcat season last year finished 2-10, so they have plenty of room to grow and show improvement. They will get the show on the road on Aug. 14, when they participate in the annual Pigskin Jamboree. They begin their regular season on Friday, Aug. 21 against their rivals, the Midway Raiders, at home.