The Waynedale News stopped by Elmhurst High School on Friday morning, July 26, to talk to new football coach, Roosevelt D. Norfleet Jr.
The first stop was at the new Athletic Directors office, to pick up some stats. Julie Hollingsworth, the new AD provided me with the recent history on the Elmhurst Football Team. The numbers were not encouraging. The last win for Elmhurst was against Concordia High School back in 1996.
Julie walked me through the winding corridors that eventually brought us to coach Roosevelt Norfleet's office. This is Coach Norfleet's first shot as a head football coach. He has spent the last two years at South Side as a Defensive and Special Teams Coordinator and has also coached defensive backs and quarterbacks.
Coach Norfleet first got involved in football as a nine-year old, playing metro-midget football for the Omega Colts. He continued football through Ward Elementary, Jefferson Middle School and Northrop High School. Roosevelt went to Anderson College where he was a three-year starter, 2-year All-Conference, and a preseason All-American. He signed a free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts in 1997.
Coach Norfleet brings with him not only extensive football experience but has a number of competent assistants with him. His plan for the next few years is to create a football structure that will draw area athletes to the Elmhurst football program. In the past few years Elmhurst, as well as other high schools, have had problems keeping some of their better athletes because of Inter-District Transfers. IDT allows kids to transfer to other high schools, which are more to their liking.
When I asked Roosevelt if he thought he'd get a win this year, he said.
"My goal here is not to come in and try to win a football game. It is to play fundamentally sound football and get better every week."
Kids have 17 varsity sports to choose from, which causes athletes to migrate to whichever program is the most successful. There are 42 eager young men out for the Elmhurst football program. They started twice-a-day practices on Monday, August 5th and their first scrimmage is scheduled for 5 PM Saturday, August 17th against Bellmont, at Elmhurst.
Part of building a good structure will include a fund drive by the football team to collect money that will go directly to the football program.