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Hopewell Junior High Football

Conversation with New Hopewell Junior High Football Coach Joe Pollick

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Are you ready for some football?

Well before you know it, the kids in the Hopewell Youth, Junior High and High School programs will start up the 2024 season.

While new head coach Matt Mottes and the high school program have been preparing for a while now, both the junior high and youth programs hit the field on Monday. The workout didn’t involve pads but was more about conditioning and get acclimated to the heat.

The Junior High team has a new person in charge as Joe Pollick was hired as the Vikings new junior high head football coach. Pollick has a long history of coaching in youth football, specifically in the Potter/Raccoon Twp league.

Hopewell Sports Nation had the opportunity to sit-down and talk with Coach Pollick about this opportunity and his vision for the junior high program.

“I’m definitely excited about the opportunity,” said Pollick. “I have a reputation of being a student of the game and a teacher of the game. I’m very adamant about making sure kids leaving the program better than when they entered it. I’m very happy that they gave me this chance. Hopewell is doing great things with their football program. The junior high program has been very strong for the last few years and I’m excited to now be a part of it.”

“In terms of my coaching style, I’d describe myself as tough but fair. I come from Aliquippa, so I’m used to winning. I’m excited about the opportunity to help develop these young players and get them ready for the high school program, which is what Coach wants out of me. We want the junior high program to mirror what the high school program is doing so that when they come up to him, they’re absolutely ready. There won’t be any new language or any new terminology. It’ll be familiar to them and a smooth transition.”

Pollick’s past experience is with coaching the younger players and the teaching aspect is what he enjoys the most.

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“I can go step by step with these kids and show them what it takes to be a football player,” said Pollick. “We’ll try and toughen them up a bit and definitely give them the football smarts that they need, which will allow them to be competitive on the field. All I’ll ask of my players is to compete.”

“I tell the kids all the time, I get you for two hours a day, I need your focus, I don’t need any class clowns. I want them to pay attention and become students of the game. Soak everything in that we’re trying to teach you and hopefully as a result of it, they’ll be better players and an ultimately a better team from it.

In terms of style of play and offensive philosophy, Pollick tells me that he doesn’t want to alter the high school’s playbook message and for the most part, wants to mirror what the high school team is running. In terms of his assistants, the offensive coordinator will be Tristan Clear from Freedom with the defensive coordinator being John Patterson also from Freedom.

It’s a new era of football both at the high school and the junior high here in Hopewell and Pollick is amped up to start working with his new players and keep the winning going.

“I always look forward to meeting with the team for the first time,” said Pollick. “I usually take the first 15 minutes of practice and have them introduce themselves by name, that way I can familiarize myself with them and they can get to know each other. Some of these kids might now know each other. When they introduce themselves, I’ll tell them, look you’re going to be fighting with each other. You’re going to need to help each other out, pick each other up. It’s an 11-man sport and we need to work together as one.”

“Finally, I encourage any kid that’s thought about playing to come out and give it a shot. I’ve had kids in the past on day one that couldn’t do a pushup or sit-up and by the time the season ended, they were one of the strongest kids on the team. If you’re thinking about it, come give football a shot.”

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