Story by Malcolm Johnson
WASHINGTON (WUSA) — Natalie Randolph was the talk of the town — better yet the nation — when she was hired two seasons ago as the head football coach at Coolidge High School.
In her two seasons with the program, Randolph has gone 12-10 and is widely respected amongst her coaching peers as a gifted offensive mind. After reaching the DCIAA’s Turkey Bowl Championship in 2011, many D.C. residents are hopeful the Colts can get over the hump and win the city’s first-ever state championship in early December.
Record Last Season: 8-3
Biggest Question: Will Coolidge be able to overcome the loss of 22 seniors?
Strengths: This year’s Colts team is expected to be much more balanced than they were in 2011, mainly because Randolph’s play calling won’t be as heavily based on the passing attack. Coolidge has improved on the offensive line and has an abundance of rising talent from the JV squad.
Best Player: Hasan Jenkins is a returning senior and one of the Colts’ most vocal leaders. Jenkins will start at both outside linebacker and running back. He has put on solid muscle throughout the offseason which will be a key advantage for a linebacker that stands at just 5-foot-10. Don’t let his height fool you. Jenkins is a powerful hard hitter and has a nose for making game altering plays on offense and defense. He has excelled at college camps throughout the summer and is expected to play at the college level.
Breakthrough Player: Naro Hillman has the potential to be one of the best wide receivers in the DCIAA according to head coach Natalie Randolph. That is, if he can see the field. He has been ineligible the past three years. “He’s a ridiculous athlete, I mean he catches everything,” said Randolph. Hillman is 6-foot-2, 185 lbs, which is ideal size for a standout receiver at the high school level. If he is able to do his part in the classroom, he will be the receiver defenses have to prepare for from Coolidge’s highly regarded aerial attack.
Why fans should be excited: Coolidge plans to utilize different running options more than ever, which should create big plays:
“We usually spread the offense out. But this year we’re looking to do a little more running. For the most part it’s the spread offense and our pass opens up the run. But we’ll see, with this team I can see us running to open up the pass. It should be exciting to see how it turns out,” said Randolph.