New coach Weiss wants Hopewell to compete, be physical

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Sunday, August 18, 2019 | 9:39 PM


Four-to-six, A-to-B. That phrase has become a team motto for the Hopewell Vikings in 2019 behind first-year coach Matt Weiss.

“You will hear four-to-six, A-to-B all the time at our practices,” Weiss said.

While it comes off as puzzling to those who may not be too familiar with the game, those who play may understand.

“The average football play is four to six seconds and you have to get from point A to point B,” Weiss said. “What we mean by this is, we want our kids to go as hard as they possible can on every play for four to six seconds from the first point of the play to the last.”

Over the last six years, Hopewell has not seen much winning, having just one year of .500 football in that time frame. A school with winning history, along with decorated athletes who have walked through the halls, it was time for a culture change within the Vikings football program.

“I was hired in December, and we started laying the foundation in January,” Weiss said. “The culture isn’t completely changed yet, but it is getting there.”

The new foundation is being built around a group of players who will look to put the results of that change onto the field Friday nights.

“As a teacher in the school district, I know about the proud tradition this school has,” Weiss said. “The kids can learn from those who came through this program, but they have to forge their own history.”

Offensively, Hopewell returns a plethora of skill players who will look to help its spread attack grow from last year’s 8 points per game.

Quarterback Jay’Von Jeter holds the keys to the offense and will look to grow during his senior season. Weiss referenced the growth of Jeter, who has become a natural born leader.

Along with Jeter, the offense returns playmakers at wide receiver (Alex Obeldoble), running back (Micah Kimbrough) and slot receiver/running back, Jake McGovern.

Despite running a spread offense, Hopewell looks to utilize the run game often, and the backfield has the line to succeed, led by junior offensive lineman Jacob Forrest who stands 6-foot-5, 295 pounds.

Defensively, the Vikings are undergoing a change that will make playing on that side of the ball a lot easier.

“My co-coordinators and I sat down and hatched out a plan for a simpler defense,” Weiss said. “This defense will let us play fast and will work as we have a lot of players that will be rolling in the defense.”

Led defensively by linebacker Tanner Dobbins and defensive linemen Paul Dudash, Mike Short and Nate Wodarek, the Vikings will look to improve after allowing 42 points per game last season.

Hoping to improve upon a 2-8 record last season, Hopewell must do so in a Class 3A Tri-County West Conference that includes four teams that have won at least one WPIAL championship the last five years (Central Valley, Aliquippa, Beaver Falls and Quaker Valley).

Schedule

Coach: Matt Weiss

2018 record: 2-8, 1-6

All-time record: 360-375-25

Date, Opponent, Time

8.23, Freedom, 7

8.30, Mt. Pleasant, 7

9.6, at Keystone Oaks*, 7

9.13, Waynesburg*, 7

9.20, at South Fayette, 7

9.27, Aliquippa*, 7

10.4, at South Park*, 7

10.11, Central Valley*, 7

10.18, at Quaker Valley*, 7

10.25, Beaver Falls*, 7

*Class 3A Tri-County West Conference game

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