OWENSVILLE – Clermont Northeastern’s football team has been mired in a slump.
Coach Scott Gildea isn’t sure of how long it’s been since the Rockets have enjoyed a winning season, but he knows the team and community would like to see that spell broken. That’s why he is doing everything he can to turn the program around.
The changes seem to be taking shape as guys that didn’t play for the team last year are returning to the program and guys within the program are improving.
“We’re trying to create a family environment and get these kids to want to play for each other,” the coach said. “The kids seem to be committed and want to be part of this change.”
In December, Gildea tested his players in the weight room to establish a base. To cap the summer lifting and conditioning sessions, the team had its second annual Midnight Maxouts as a way to chart the players’ progression.
He was pleased with the results.
“The commitment has been great,” he said.
Gildea knows full well that winning can go a long way in terms of turning around a program. The weight room is where it starts.
CNE was one of two teams in the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference to go winless in the conference and finish with a 1-9 record. Goshen was the other.
“We struggled last season against teams in our conference and struggled to stop the run-heavy offenses,” Gildea said. “I think we are going to stop the run better this season. To do that, we needed to get stronger.”
The Rockets return four of their five starting offensive linemen, quarterback Shawn Lykins, Luke Newton, Logan Fishback and Dalton Miracle, who Gildea believes can be one of the best running backs in the city.
“We’re going to ride him as much as we can,” the coach said.
The team will start two-a-days two weeks into August, but in the meantime, the Rockets will have a team camp at Wilmington College at the end of the month where they will use most of the allotted 10 practice sessions.
They will also have a 7-on-7 tournament with teams like Lockland and St. Bernard and as the season nears, they will have scrimmages against Clark Montessori, McNicholas and Deer Park.