ROGERS (KFSM) – Three months ago, Steve Hookfin accepted the head football job at Rogers Heritage and immediately began a culture change.
“Transition’s been well. Coaches are picking up things, the boys are working hard. We’ve had great weather up to this point so things have been ideal so far,” Hookfin said after a Tuesday morning workout. “We’re implementing a new way of doing things, just a new vision, a new mindset. They’ve been very receptive, the coaches have been very receptive to what we’re teaching.”
Over the last four seasons, Heritage has won just three games (two if you don’t count a forfeit in 2015).
“We haven’t been very successful here for a while and I think one of the things that Coach Hookfin has done is brought back some old school mentality of being physical, winning the inch on the offensive line,” longtime War Eagle assistant Darren Hotelling said.
Hotelling came from Siloam Springs when the Rogers district split in 2008 and currently serves as the offensive line coach.
“Coach Hookfin believe it or not is the 13th head coach that I’ve worked for in my career,” Hotelling added. “And I have worked for some good head coaches and I can just tell you right now he’s a good head coach.”
Hookfin comes from Haywood, a class 4A high school in Tennessee. And while it is a jump to the 7A in Arkansas, there are similarities.
“Being that we were able to compete for championships in Tennessee on a consistent basis, I think it’s gonna help with the kids buying in,” recalled Hookfin.
“He gave us a little bit more fire and energy and maybe focused on some things we weren’t focused on before,” Hotelling stated.
“Having a chance to coach in the biggest classification in the state is very rewarding and to compete at a high level,” Hookfin, an Arkadelphia native and alum said. “And I think that’s our objective.”