COVINGTON – Holmes High School fell just short of a winning season in head coach Ben Nevels’s first season at the helm, going 5-6. There will be changes at some key positions in 2014, but if the right players step up, the Bulldogs could put together a winning season. Several starters return on both sides of the ball and after coming so close last year, they are eager to get over the hump this season.
“We have a lot of talent to replace but we are extremely excited about the playmakers that we return,” Nevels said.
The Bulldogs must replace their top running backs from a year ago. There will be some unfamiliar names carrying the football for Holmes this season. The new backs should benefit from running behind an experienced offensive line.
“2014 marks the first year in quite some time that a Scruggs will not be lining up in the backfield,” Nevels said. “A wealth of youthful talent exists within the confines of the Bulldog lockerroom. The question is how long will it take for that talent to mature.”
Marco Bright and Alex Vancini lead the offensive line. They will clear paths for backs Andrew Arnold, Shawndale Mincey, and Fred Vickers. Each is an athletic playmaker who could spring a big play any time he carries the ball. Even with new faces in the backfield, the Bulldogs will continue to emphasize their potent ground attack.
“We should have a strong running game behind an experienced and physical offensive line,” said Nevels. “Multiple guys will touch the football and be able to produce points.”
The defense will be led by linebacker Sean Sullivan and defensive back Desean Brumfield. Defensive team speed continues to be a strength for Holmes. Pure athleticism will give the Bulldogs an advantage over many of their opponents, but they know that it takes more than speed and quickness to win football games. The Bulldogs are driven to continue improving.
“Our young men want to get better every time they step on the field,” said Nevels. “This attitude will allow us to transform adversity into opportunities.”
Holmes opens the season on Aug. 22 at Holy Cross.
Aug. 22: Vs. Holy Cross, 7 p.m.
Aug. 29: Vs. Scott, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5: Vs. Lloyd, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12: At Walton-Verona, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 26: At Beechwood, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 3: At Bellevue, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10: At Harrison County, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 17: Vs. Highlands, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24: Vs. Covington Catholic, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31: Vs. Newport, 7 p.m.