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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hollis Brookline football coach has high hopes for season

HOLLIS – Forgive Chris Lones if his expectations seem high for the Hollis Brookline High School football team.

Although the Cavaliers have gone a combined 6-13 in the last two seasons, the first-year varsity head coach believes this year’s senior class can lead HB to a successful campaign in 2014. ...

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HOLLIS – Forgive Chris Lones if his expectations seem high for the Hollis Brookline High School football team.

Although the Cavaliers have gone a combined 6-13 in the last two seasons, the first-year varsity head coach believes this year’s senior class can lead HB to a successful campaign in 2014.

Lones has seen them do it before.

“When I first coached them (the seniors) in 2010, they were undefeated state champions in middle school,” Lones said. “I know there’s talent, we’ve just got to get them together and on the same page and just do what we do.”

But there’s more than just the result of a middle school football season that has Lones hopeful. A part of the Cavs’ coaching staff a year ago, Lones watched the team get off to an 0-5 start that he feels never should have happened.

“Starting 0-5, no one wanted to do that,” he said. “We were in all of those games, except for Milford. You shouldn’t lose some of those games. You can’t do some of those things and expect to be successful.”

Lones is hoping HB can find success in what is his first year as a head coach of a high school varsity program. That doesn’t mean the new coach is lacking experience, as he’s led youth teams in both Nashua programs – the Elks and the Force – while also coaching in the Junior Cavs program more recently. Lones even spent a season coaching at Lawrence (Mass.) Academy in 2011, but opted to take a spot on the staff at HB to get closer to his home in Brookline.

When longtime HB coach Milt Robinson stepped down after the 2012 season, Lones threw his name into the ring, but ended up coming up short, as the job went to Rich Bergskaug.

Lones remained as the offensive coordinator a year ago, and when Bergskaug resigned after just one year, he jumped at the opportunity.

“I was surprised and I know the kids were surprised,” Lones said of Bergskaug’s departure. “At the same time, I was also excited. I liked Rich, I think he’s a good guy, and I think he did a good job with the team last year. At the end of the day, you’re defined by wins and losses.”

Lones feels that the losses from the last two years will help the Cavs handle adverse situations this year.

“You don’t get better winning, you get better losing,” he said. “It’s your defeats that define you and what you’re going to be down the road. You learn by losing. You have to learn to lose together so that you can win together. Then it’s about desire and who wants it more. We’ve got a lot of pieces to be successful, we’ve just got to be dedicated every day.”