4 Questions with Richmond Hill head coach Matt LeZotte

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Today’s interviewee is Richmond Hill coach Matt LeZotte, whose team defeated then-Class 7A No. 6 Camden County 28-11 on Friday night in Kingsland. In 2019, LeZotte led Richmond Hill to its first region title since 1996 and first state semifinal in history.

Matt LeZotte, Richmond Hill head coach

1. What did this latest win mean for your team? “We have worked tirelessly for six years to change the culture at Richmond Hill. When we got here, they had opportunities to win but never expected the outcome to go their way. We have changed that mentality, and our guys don’t flinch. We are fortunate to have a group of guys that have played a lot of games, and I’m proud of the job our guys are doing. The last thing I said before the final buzzer to our guys on the sideline was, ‘This is just another win,’ and we have lived by that mentality the last few years. We just want more opportunities to play more games this season.”

2. What won the day for you in the game? “The difference-maker in the game was our conditioning. We were able to physically compete at a high level after traveling on un-airconditioned buses 1.5 hours in 100-degree heat with hydration regulations, and our guys did not flinch (referenced earlier). Coach Tony LeZotte, my brother, does a tremendous job in our weight room preparing not just our football players but all of our athletes to compete at a high level for extended spells. Our coaches are purpose-driven in our practice planning on making sure our guys are constantly being pushed with tempo and reps. It makes a difference.”

3. How does this year’s team compare to last year’s? “We lost a handful of starters off of last year’s team. The performance in 2019, both on and off the field, set the stage for our program to be successful this year. Talent will get your tail whooped, but talent with preparation gives you a chance to win some ball games. Our guys have not only played a lot of games, but they understand what it takes commitment-wise in order for us to be successful.”

4. How much further along is this team mentally because of the success of last year? What did last season do for the team? “Our teams success this year is a product of the offseason. We held our players accountable during the quarantine, and they showed up in shape and ready to roll in June. We have very few guys that have major college football offers, which I think is silly, and they’re preparing with a chip on their shoulder. With all the uncertainty, we were happy to get one in. Now we will be ready for round two this week. One-game seasons for everyone playing high school football right now.” [Richmond Hill plays at Ware County this week.]

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