Colvin and the players take on the challenge to rebuild in Beavercreek

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“I love it,” he said. “He loves all of us children and brings great energy to this program. Definitely a new step for us.

An unexpected opportunity

Colvin was installed at CJ with a solid program. He started there at the age of 22 after playing football at Dayton.

“I always want to make sure to communicate that CJ didn’t do anything wrong,” Colvin said. “Actually, that says a lot about Beavercreek that they might get me to consider and then shut me down about leaving such a beautiful place. What CJ has done for me in terms of personal and professional growth, opportunities and coaching, I will never be able to repay it.

At 41, Colvin felt ready for a new challenge and Beavercreek offered a package he couldn’t pass up. In addition to coaching, he will oversee a new alternative education program.

“I have the opportunity to work with students who are really struggling and that’s very much my field,” he said. “I really like being in front of young people and finding a way to let them know how great they can be.”

The challenge

Colvin says he and his team, which includes six people who came with him from CJ and three survivors, won’t lie to the players. They’ve come up against the recent past of 11 straight losses and a 5-36 record over the past four years.

The Beavers’ last winning season was in 2017 and they last shared a GWOC title in 2012. They never qualified for the playoffs.

“People are like, there’s no way Beavercreek will ever win,” Colvin said. “And I understand that because that’s what history tells you. But I’m a pretty proud person, I like to surround myself with good people and I think there’s a lot of infrastructure here. If we put our time and energy into what I think we can do, I feel like we’re going to be able to do it.

Colvin said his team has talented players. Right now, it’s just that teams like Springfield and Wayne have more. One of those players is Crawford, who is ready to lead a turnaround and not relive last year’s blowouts and second-half running clocks.

“It was very difficult, especially walking through the halls of school with everyone clowning around at you because you’re playing football,” he said. “And it should never be like that – it should be able to walk down the halls and everyone’s like, ‘Hey, you won last night. Good job.'”

Colvin, Crawford and Johnson believe the Beavers will win a few games this season. But perhaps the most important goal is to change the attitude. The first good sign of change is that more players than last year took part in summer training and are expected to be on the training ground on Monday for the first official training day.

Colvin and his team challenge players to react well in the face of adversity. He wants them to move on to the next game when something goes wrong. He wants to watch the movie of the game and be able to congratulate his team for playing well on the play that follows the bad play. When he watches the movie of the game last year, he sees a team that did not react well.

“I tell them every day, ‘You guys are winners,'” Colvin said. “They need to hear that. When you’re constantly being beaten, it’s easy to believe you’re not good enough. And that’s something we really tried to work on throughout our summer, of our team camps and conversations with our team.

Good answer so far

Johnson has a new quarterback coach in Corey Freed, who came from Centerville. Johnson said he’s already learned a lot he didn’t know about the job.

“First of all, I’m improving my throwing mechanics,” Johnson said. “There’s always something he emphasizes: the footwork, the mechanics of the arms, the eyes or just constantly moving the feet. There is always something.

Johnson still has one season left. He knows he won’t be among the best times in the turnaround that he and his teammates expect. But he wants to lead his team through adversity and be part of the change in mindset and attitude that Colvin is teaching.

“A couple obviously wins, but building more team chemistry and laying the groundwork for building this school to be good at football and make people want to join,” Johnson said. “We are going to be something.”

With a change in attitude, Colvin believes there will be a change in the perception of what it means to play football in Beavercreek. He expects more children to join the team next year. And he’ll get to know them starting with those 7 a.m. weightlifting sessions after the season.

“I love sports,” Colvin said. “But you’re a football coach, at least I think, for young people who you’re going to interact with and you’re going to call your family.”

Other new head coaches in the region

Jim Dimitroff, Catholic Central: In his fifth decade of coaching, Dimitroff, 65, takes over at his alma mater after serving as offensive coordinator during last year’s 7-4 season. He started as an Irish assistant in 1976 and has coached at North, South, Upper Arlington, Springfield and Wittenberg.

Brian Bogenschutz, Cedarville: After nine years as an assistant at his alma mater Xenia, Bogenschutz is returning to a program that was 2-8 last season. The Indians’ last winning season and playoff appearance was in 2013.

Earl White, Julian Chaminade: White brings a solid resume to CJ. As head coach at Belmont and Thurgood Marshall, White compiled a 124-76 record eight playoff appearances.

Larry Cox, Fairborn: The Skyhawks hired a proven winner in Cox, who began his 26-season career as head coach for two years at Bellbrook. After 21 years, more than 100 wins and five playoff appearances at Lakota West, Cox resigned in 2018. He followed that with a 10-8 record and one home playoff win in two seasons at Oxford Talawanda. Last year, he coached Franklin to a 4-6 record.

Luke Hurst, Franklin: Hurst gets his first opportunity as a head coach. He was offensive coordinator at Northmont under Tony Broering.

Micah Faler, Lebanon: Faler has been coaching Lebanon’s quarterback and passing game coordinator since 2019. He previously coached in the Mason program for several years.

Derrick Shepard, Meadowdale: Shepard returns to his alma mater. He had a successful career at Georgia Tech and played several seasons of arena football.

Troy Everhart, Troy: Everhart’s resume includes a 2009 state championship at Cincinnati Winton Woods where he went 80-41 in 11 seasons. He was also a head coach at Middletown and more recently at San Diego.

Matt King, valley view: King replaces Ken Moyer and is the Spartans’ third head coach in three years. He has been on staff for seven years.

Chris Mobley, West Carrollton: Mobley will try to turn the Pirates into winners like he did in six seasons at Cincinnati Hughes. He was 26-28 at Hughes, including 17-8 the past three seasons with two playoff appearances.

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