Sumiton Christian names Zack Holmes football coach
by Johnathan Bentley
Mar 29, 2013 | 2534 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sumiton Christian's Zack Holmes talks to Greg Patterson during a game last season. Holmes is the Eagles new head football coach after serving as the defensive coordinator the last two years. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Sumiton Christian's Zack Holmes talks to Greg Patterson during a game last season. Holmes is the Eagles new head football coach after serving as the defensive coordinator the last two years. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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SUMITON — Zack Holmes had an offer to coach football in Florida this upcoming season.

Instead, he’s staying put — albeit in a new position.

Holmes is the new head football coach at Sumiton Christian.

He was officially named the Eagles’ eighth head football coach earlier this month.

Holmes takes over for Greg Patterson, who resigned from his post in December.

Patterson served as the Eagles head coach for four years, amassing a 14-26 record.

“The reason I was interested in being the head coach was because of the quality of kids we have here,” Holmes said.

“They are hard-working kids. That goes a long way. There is also great community support here. Sumiton Christian is a good school to be a part of. I actually had a job offer in Florida, but I turned it down to stay here. Knowing the type of kids I’m dealing with here is huge and being familiar with the people in the community helps tremendously.”

Holmes, 29, graduated from Falkville High School in 2001.

He played one year at Maryville (Tenn.) College before transferring to Huntingdon College in Montgomery.

He graduated from Huntingdon in 2006 and coached at the school as a graduate assistant and running backs coach before heading to Brindlee Mountain High School in Guntersville, where he served as the offensive coordinator for four years.

He's been the defensive coordinator under Patterson for the last two years. He said the Eagles made some strides on the defensive side in 2012.

“The thing I will say about the kids last year is that defensively, we actually got better in most of the categories we keep track of. We did better than the year before. We caused more than 20 turnovers. We caused six turnovers against Corner and our only points were on a defensive touchdown. Defensively, we did some really big things. The kids bought into the system. That’s the potential that I see. If they buy into the whole team system like they bought into the defense, it will be something that will be fun to watch.”

Sumiton Christian finished one game out of the playoffs last season, taking fifth in Class 1A, Region 6 behind Ragland, Addison, Falkville and Meek.

The Eagles started the season 2-0 in 2012 before a 27-24 loss to Meek — coupled with an injury to playmaker DeMonte Hobbs — started a five-game losing streak. Sumiton Christian finished the season 3-6.

“Our region has some good teams in it. I think there were some teams that surprised people last year. I think Falkville did a lot better than people expected. Then you’ve got Ragland and Addison who are always strong. Our non-region schedule is tough. We’ve got Collinsville, who will be a top 10 1A team and Corner, who is 4A,” Holmes added.

“The schedule is tough, but we should be able to compete. We have good enough talent here to compete. We have to get headed in the right direction. We are going to put a quality product out there and it will be good enough to compete.”

Holmes said the interest in the football program has grown heading into spring practice.

“We’ve got a ton of kids who play other sports that need to playing football who are signed up and excited about it. We’ve got 38 kids ninth through 12th,” he said.

The Eagles also have plenty of experience returning, though they will have to replace play-making quarterback Austin Clark.

“We’ve got four of our five starters back on the offensive line. On the defensive line, we are returning four guys who started at some point,” Holmes said.

“We’ve got Josh Yates and Trace Busby who both played a lot at linebacker and are coming back. DeMonte Hobbs, who played receiver and corner, is coming back. We’ve got a lot of young kids coming back.”

Sumiton Christian opens spring practice on May 6 and the Eagles will close out the spring with a Cardinal-White game.