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By Natalie Gorsuch
Williamsburg Correspondent 

Williamsburg's New Varsity Football Coach 'Comes Home'


August 29, 2019

Natalie Gorsuch

Coach Hileman

Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.

– Vince Lombardi, Second-winningest NFL coach

Thirty-four Williamsburg football players hear this advice from their new coach, Ryan Hileman, at every practice.

Hileman is in his first year of coaching Varsity Blue Pirate Football. He previously coached the junior high team last year. When the varsity position opened up after the resignation of long-time head coach Bob Hearn, Hileman said it "felt right to take the job. I had a real connection with the kids."

The kids reciprocate the feeling. Senior player Tanner Detwiler describes Hileman as "one of the most dedicated people I've ever met ... he coaches with a passion that is rubbed off on us players. He's giving the best opportunities to win games and he's pushing us to be the best."

Hileman's road to coaching was a windy one. Hileman attended Williamsburg School District until 6th grade and then graduated from Central High School. He then played football for Juniata College and then moved to Virginia and Tennessee before returning to the area.

Hileman credits past coaches Dave Baker and Jack Kreider as being influential on his playing and coaching careers, as well as Tim Launtz of Juniata College and Mark Fisher in Virginia. When asked what lessons Hileman would like to instill in his current roster, he replied, "teach them life lessons, work ethic and honesty – whether its good or bad, it's always right to be honest."

Hileman also wants players "to be productive after school is over – be the best person they can be."

The best advice Coach Hileman ever received was about respect and building a rapport with the athletes being coached: "Build a relationship with the kids," he said.

Although the team went 0-10 last year, Hileman is optimistic about this coming season.

"We have great athletes, kids really worked hard – they were motivated for summer workouts, showing up to practice on time, great participation in 7-on-7 drills and the work ethic altogether is much better."

Hileman's goal is to have a winning season. However, it is clear that for Hileman, a winning season might not always reflect on the scoreboard, but in the respect and admiration these players have for their coach.

The Blue Pirates next face rival Claysburg-Kimmel at 7 p.m. Friday at Williamsburg.

Claysburg-Kimmel's record stands at 0-1 as does Williamsburg's.


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