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Serving for the first time as the LaRue County Middle School Hawks coach, Elijah Zwiep said he is ready to tackle the season with his all around best.
Having helped coach the high school Hawks for the past several years, Zwiep was asked by head football coach Josh Jaggers to lead the LCMS Hawks into a program that mirrored the varsity program.
“I knew our offense pretty well, being an offensive coordinator for the JV and freshman teams, so it was a good fit,” said Zwiep.
Coach Zwiep said he is pulling out all the stops to ensure for a good season.
“I’m still in the process of getting to know the guys. We’ve been out here since July practicing and preparing for this season,” said Zwiep.
Zwiep’s goal for the team: Getting all the way to the top.
“We want to win as many games as possible – the ultimate goal being to make it as conference or state champions,” said Zwiep.
The LCMS Hawks have a 3-1 record. They played at Russell County Aug. 27.
“I’ve been impressed with the improvements we’ve had since the beginning of the year. We’ve had some injuries already and have plugged in guys who do not have as much experience but with the coaching they have had – they’ve been able to play well with very little coaching,” said Zwiep.
Coach Zwiep said the main reason the program has been such a success is because of the strong coaching the players received.
“The coaches – they are my support system. Bruce Arnette is my defensive head coach, Jason Harrison coaches the linebackers, Tino Cobb coaches the defensive backs, Clarence Baker works with our offensive line, and Chad Puryear works with the running backs and quarterbacks,” said Zwiep.
“Anything I’ve asked –they’ve been willing to do and really take it on. They are all great coaches,” he added.
The young Hawks have continued to work hard.
“The reason we are where we are is because of our kids and great coaching,” Zwiep said. “This is by no means a one-man show. The kids are willing to do anything they can to win. The coaches are dads – they are dedicated. You can’t ask for more than that.”
Zwiep said the toughest game this season will be against Campbellsville on Sept. 10.
“They have a bunch of tough athletes on their team and it’s going to take all that we have to beat them. It’s going to come down to the mental part of the game –whoever makes the least mistakes will win,” said Zwiep.
This year’s LCMS team holds a lot of promise according to Zwiep, hosting a large number of experienced eighth-grade players.
Coach Zwiep named a few players to be on the lookout for this season.
Bryson Cobb serves as a running back and defensive back for the LCMS Hawks. “He’s one of the kids who always plays 100 percent of the game; when he plays offensively he’s quick and can shake people –he’s a great athlete.”
Kane Harris plays as the receiver and defensive back for the Hawks. “He is one of those receivers –you can throw the ball to him and he’ll get it even when he goes up against two or three defenders. He’s dominant and is currently tied for the lead on the team in touchdowns. There are not many teams where you have a receiver that can lead in touchdowns,” said Zwiep.
Dean Milby works as the LCMS Hawks quarterback. “Milby is a very versatile player –he can run the ball, throw it and does what’s asked of him.”
Kyle Woosley is an offensive guard for the Hawks. “He’s basically willing to do anything for the team,” said Zwiep. “He originally ran as a full back. When I approached him about changing positions he wasn’t happy about it at first but once he played as an offensive guard he was all for it. He’s willing to do what it takes to make the team successful.”
The Hawks’ next game is at home against Adair County at 6 p.m. Sept. 3.