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High school football Spring football kicks off without Ballard

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Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012 2:14 pm | Updated: 2:16 pm, Thu May 31, 2012.

Spring practice for the Half Moon Bay High School football team began in earnest last week.

In addition to the new players in the program, there is a new offense to learn. There will also be a new coach sometime in the near future.

Former Coach Matt Ballard announced last month that he’s stepping down to take a job as head coach at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach. Ballard was at Half Moon Bay’s practice, providing insights.

Currently, offensive coordinator Keith Holden is organizing practices. However, he hasn’t been named as the head coach.

While the Cougars anxiously await a new coach, there is still plenty of work to be done.

For starters, Holden is putting in a new offense, which mostly emphasizes the running game. The Cougars are trying to be efficient with their practices. Before Ballard made his announcement, he and the rest of the Cougar coaching staff spent time with the College of San Mateo coaching staff, learning how to get the most out of their practice time.

In the course of 65 minutes one day last week, the Cougars had 13 different priorities to work on. With a running clock, and the horn going off every five minutes, the Cougars were able to get a lot of work done.

While Ballard’s departure was a shock for some of the players, many on the team are confident there will be continuity.

“Coach Holden has been a big part of the team for a while,” said linebacker Joseph Lowman. “A lot of the assistant coaches are coming back, too. It’s not that big of a change.”

While the players will have to learn the new offense, Holden is confident the Cougars will pick up the offense.

“The kids are resilient,” Holden said. “They can handle all sorts of adversity. They can handle this. Our kids are awesome.”

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