CENTERVILLE — Xenia varsity football head coach Maurice Harden was a head coach in the Miami Valley Football Coaches Association All Star Game.
The game for graduated high school seniors was held Friday at Centerville High School and had the participants split into North and South teams.
Harden was the South coach and said he enjoyed the unfamiliarity of getting to work with a new group of athletes.
“It’s a really fun experience,” He said. “The fact that you can pull kids from different school districts, different offensive, different defenses, and you’re able to kind of mix and match things, it’s a really, really humbling experience.”
The teams got a week of practice leading up to the game for players and coaches to work with each other.
Harden said he enjoyed getting a look at different philosophies and viewpoints from both the kids he worked with and coaches from other areas who were also on hand.
He went on to say while getting to provide another space for football practice to the players was exciting, he got more enjoyment out of seeing the kids have fun playing a game they love and teaching other lessons aside from the game.
”They love playing and they love learning,” he said. “The fact that you had a bunch of kids who wanted to come out when you got graduation, you got everything else finished and you still want to come out here and work and grind and put some time in for their last dance for high school football, I think is a pretty pretty cool experience.”
Harden plans to take some of what he learned and apply it back to his Xenia team in the fall when practice begins. Xenia will return the majority of its starting players from a team that made the playoffs for the third straight year and finished 6-5 overall and second in the MVL Valley Division.
Most of all, he was able to do something he has a passion for which is to just coach.
“The fact that you get to coach a game and you kind of get the butterflies and that kind of stuff right in June, you can’t beat that,” he said.
Xenia’s Dylan Hoelscher and Beavercreek’s Landon McPherson played on the South Team for Harden.
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.