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Matt Mottes Officially Hired as New Hopewell Head Football Coach

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Hopewell has a new person in charge of their football program.

Last night, the Hopewell School Board voted on and approved the hiring of Matt Mottes as the new high school football coach, replacing John Rosa.

Before Rosa’s resignation, Mottes was slated to be Hopewell’s defensive coordinator and has been a long-time assistant coach at programs such as Ambridge, Freedom, Western Beaver and Hopewell.

The 38-year-old brings with him coaching experience along with being around and playing for a winning program at Aliquippa High School (2000-2002).

Hopewell Sports Nation had the opportunity to sit-down and talk to the Vikings new coach about this opportunity and what it means to him.

“A lot of excitement in me for this opportunity and excited about the group of kids that we have coming back along with the group of kids we have coming up,” said Mottes. “I think this is a great position to be in for a first-time head coach. I believe we have kids that want to win, we’ll have kids that will learn how to win, and we’ll be competitive all year.”

Mottes has had a lot of strong coaching mentors and coaches that he’s learned from including Hall of Famers Don Yannessa, Mike Zmijanac and others. He says that he plans on taking some of what he learned from them but also creating his own coaching style.

“If I can take a little bit from all the coaches that I’ve been around over the years, we’ll be OK. From my playing days with “Peep” Short, Mike Zmijanac, and breaking into coaching with Don Yannessa and being Coach Rosa’s assistant for the last few years, I’ll be stressing poise, not cracking under pressure, believing in the kids, always displaying positive re-enforcement, motivation, getting the kids excited and discipline will be big with us.”

“One thing that my players will know is that no matter what I’m here for them. It’s going to be important for them to know that nothing’s changed and we all will have their backs no matter what. They know that this coaching staff is dedicated to building a winning program and restoring Hopewell to its former glory days.”

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One thing that became very obvious as we continued to talk is the passion that Mottes has for this job and the players that he’ll be coaching. You saw and heard the excitement in him as he talked about things on gameday, uniforms, how the off-season has gone, plans to improve the program and most importantly the success both the team and players will be experiencing over the coming years.

“I’m very excited with what we’re going to have to work with,” said Mottes. “I think that people are going to underestimate our talent and our ability. They’re going to see that Hopewell has only won a couple of games the past few years and look past us. They’re going to have a rude awakening with Hopewell and teams will have their hands full when they play us.”

“Working with the kids, I can see the excitement they have and they’re happy to be there. I can see that our players want to come, they want to work and want to get better. As a coach, you can’t ask for anything more than the effort they’ve put forward for us.”

We didn’t get into specific individual players, but Mottes did talk about how pleased and impressed he’s been with the play of the offensive line as a whole and credits offensive line coaches Guy Martini (Hopewell 2003 graduate) and Jeremy Martini (Hopewell 2010 graduate) for the job they’ve done working with and coaching the kids.

Who knows how many games Hopewell will win this season, but I can tell you that it was hard not to get excited and optimistic after listening to Mottes talk about his vision for the future and how he 100% believes that they’ll be a winning program again sooner rather than later.

Good luck to Coach Mottes on this exciting opportunity to run his own program for the first time.

Tomorrow, I’ll have Part Two of my interview with him as he talked about a 7-on-7 tournament at W&J College that Hopewell took part in over the last couple of days.

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