November 19, 2017

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Berwick High School: Coach Eric Holden

Before Coach Eric Holden stepped in and took the reins on Berwick High School, the Panthers’ football program hadn’t experienced a winning season for the past 20 years! However, Berwick’s small town charm when it came to support for the local high school won coach Holden over. “It was an incredible experience for a young kid that loved football to see a whole town shut down for Friday,” Holden said. “Everyone was so passionate for football. Berwick reminded me of Lake Charles. I’ve wanted to be the coach in a town where everyone comes out on Friday nights.” Therefore, this was the perfect opportunity. What coach Holden contributes to the Panthers’ program is an incredible playing/coaching pedigree and so much more. Coach Holden said, “I’ve had the blessing of coaching in two state championship games. It was also a privilege to coach at Evangel in Shreveport.” He’s played for legendary coach Dale Weiner at Catholic High in Baton Rouge and has aided on the staffs of Byron Dawson at Evangel Christian and Nick Mitchell at both Southern Lab and Port Allen. Holden was also a head coach at Christian Life Academy. The Berwick Panthers are in the hands of an incredible coach and he’s capitalizing on the Berwick talent that he’s been given.

How did Berwick High School’s football program need to improve?

“When I evaluated the team through film, I felt like we had some talented young men. After speaking with the players and individuals connected to the high school and the community, I felt like the key to success here was accountability. When I asked players, what the problem was it was never their fault. That had to change. I felt we needed to change the offensive philosophy and how we trained in the weight room. Practice structure and the overall mental approach to preparation had to change too. We also talked about how champions approach what they do and building something greater than themselves, a LEGACY. I explained that greatness never goes on sale. Lamborghini’s never go on sale, there’s no discount rack at the Gucci store, Bentley’s aren’t half off. Greatness cost what it cost and if you want greatness you will have to pay the price; this is non-negotiable.”

What sort of things did you incorporate to help the program do a 360?

“I informed the players that everyone would be held accountable. If you don’t complete your mission for the day, practice period or game you would lose your job. I explained to them that no one in the adult world gets to show up to work, fail every day, and still get to keep their job and earn a pay check, so why should you get to start on Friday night. You either work or you don’t eat! If you fail, you take responsibility for your actions and then take strides to better yourself for the betterment of the program. This is where greatness starts.”

It is for these reasons that Berwick High School is currently fueling and building D1 prospects. The Panthers’ football program is now prospering as there was never a lack of talent but a need for guidance. When I asked Coach Holden how the team is currently doing, he said, “The team is doing well. There is a process to building a champion and we are working our way through that process as we speak. The steps can’t be skipped and the process can’t be microwaved. I do think we are a little ahead of the curve but we are still learning and growing daily.”

 

Are there any standouts/studs on the team?

“Stand out players Kenan Jones, senior, is an LSU commit that plays WR/KR/Slash, Josh Carver, senior, WR both are above or around 1000 yards receiving on the season. We have a great young junior QB, Mitchell Sanford that has thrown 29 TDs and around 2400 yard. Our Junior running back is 40 yards away from 1000 yards. Collin Louviere who has filled the gap in numerous positions from QB to punter to WR. He has been the ultimate team player. Defensively Cade Thibodeaux, Lucas Hatch and Kenny Rhodes are our senior leaders. Barrett Hover and Matthew Legendre are two stand out junior that should receive college offers during next spring.”

 

It was a pleasure interviewing coach Eric Holden, he’s an incredibly humble man and doesn’t necessarily want the credit for turning the Panthers’ program around. He is more concerned with acknowledging the talent his athletes have and his coaching staff. Coach Holden said, “My coaching staff has been incredible. Paul Gilder, Lance Bourg, Kenny Williams, Mo Seneca, Brandon Bravata, Tony Linn, Trevor Richard and Josh Montgomery. These guys have worked so may tireless hours making sure the game plan is squared away, the players are properly prepped for practice and the games. I can’t say enough. I couldn’t be blessed with a greater group of men.” Coach Eric Holden deserves to be recognized for the great work that he’s done for the Berwick Panthers’ program. If I were you, I would continue to look out for the athletes that are coming from Berwick High School because they are the future of football and potential NFL recruits. Keep up the great work Panthers!