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John Rosa Excited For The Challenge Of Turning Around Hopewell Football



“Be great.” That’s the daily motto that new Hopewell football coach John Rosa will have for his players and ask them to live be.

Hopewell Sports Nation was able to speak at length with Coach Rosa this afternoon about making a return to his hometown and his plan for returning Vikings football to prominence.

Rosa wanted to meet with his players today but because of scheduling and midterms, that wasn’t able to happen but will take place next week.

Until then Rosa has a laundry list of things, he plans on working on and is excited for this challenge.

“I’ve always had interest in the Hopewell position,” Rosa tells HSN. “As a former player here and I lived here for 31 years of my life, grew up here. This is a special place and I just felt that it was a place that I eventually wanted to return to hopefully if the opportunity presented itself and if it was right. It just felt like the right timing at this point to make the move. We did play them last year, when I was at Western Beaver and although the score might not have indicated it, I think that there’s some talented kids here, that are good football players.

“I believe that we can win here. It’s not going to happen overnight. Wins aren’t going to come in bunches early, but I think that we can get our share of wins and continue to improve this program. And hopefully one day return it to a championship contended program one day.”

As I mentioned, Rosa has a lot of things that he plans on working on and changing. What are some early priorities for him and things that he’d like to install?

“We need to concentrate on discipline,” said Rosa. “We need to be fundamentally sound. In terms of system, I’m not set on a certain system that we have to run. I need to get in, see the skill set of my players, in person, not just on film. Need to watch guys work, watch guys run, watch guys throw the ball, watch how guys move, watch their footwork and then develop a scheme. I’ve coached in a lot of different systems, we’ve run the spread offense a little bit, we’ve run the Wing T offense a little bit. Whatever the system that best fits us is what we’re going to use.”

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Rosa is fully aware of the struggles that the Hopewell football program has endured the last decade but he’s remaining positive and believes things can be turned around. I asked him what he can do to help change things.

“It’s about doing things right every day,” said Rosa. “All you can control is today. Working each day to try and do things the right way. Not take days off. Like I said, it’s not going to turn around overnight but if we can concentrate each day on what’s our goal of the day, what are we trying to accomplish. Whether it’s lifting, whether it’s speed training, whether it’s installs. Whatever is it, make sure that we do it to the best of our abilities.”

“I used the motto at Freedom and will probably bring it over here, two simple words, “Be Great”. Do it right and be as great as you can be today. I think if we can do that, the wins will come but you have to fundamentally do things right, with everything you do and not let bad habits develop. If we don’t correct things right away, those bad habits are going to be instilled in our players. The wins will come if we do things right every day.”

This will be a busy next month for Rosa as he highlights some of the bigger things that he looks to accomplish.

“I was actually hoping to have a team meeting today but with midterms, we’re going to wait a week and we’ll do that on Tuesday. First, I’m going to meet with the kids that are currently in the high school and then at some point, I’m going to meet with the players at the middle school and talk with them. I want to meet with the players and introduce myself, give them a rough schedule of what’s going to happen. We’re going to start a lifting program within the next week or two. Another important item is going to be finalizing staff. We have some guys that are definitely going to be a part of the program and I’m going to be talking to a lot of other guys in the next couple of days and probably over the weekend.”

“Need to get the coaches office into a working coaching office. Getting it set up so I can get coaches in there and start setting up systems and what we’re going to do, terminology and stuff like that. My idea is to try and keep things as simple as we can, but I believe that it’s important that all of our coaches that are going to be on staff, now how we’re going to refer to things so that they can portray that to the kids. So, we have a lot of backend stuff like staffing and systems and stuff like that, but we will start our training in January or February, which is a lot of strength and conditioning training. It’s not with a lot of football stuff but if we do get some nice weather, we might take advantage of it and let kids run some routes and maybe do some line drills, stuff like that. But that’s not our primary focus right now, right now the focus is on strength and conditioning.”

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