Holcomb looks to lead Madison Central back to win column and beyond

The Indians see a complete overhaul of their football program with Holcomb at the helm
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 8:14 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Throughout the years, Madison Central has had coaches win major championship at other schools. Ed Miracle coached at Central (1973-80) after leading Lynch to eight state title games (winning four) from 1959-71.

Paul Rains guided the Indians from 1997-2002 before taking LCA to the KHSAA football Promised Land in 2009.

What about Bill Cronin? He coached at Central from 1993-96 before taking over at Georgetown College and guided the Tigers to a pair of NAIA national crowns.

Now 3-time state champion Mike Holcomb takes over a Central program desperate to win again.

“Everybody scores! Everybody scores every time you catch the ball! If you don’t catch it, you score anyway,” yells Holcomb at practice.

“We have a new system possible on both sides of the ball for them. Even though everybody runs the Spread any more, ours is a little bit different.”

It’s a different attitude for the Indians during practices at Tomahawk Alley.

“Everybody is in that endzone every play! Miss, catch, fumble, whatever! “If you are used to getting in the end zone, we think you’re going to get into the endzone.”

Since winning the school’s only region title in 2018, scoring is something Madison Central did not do enough of the last two years going just 2-and-18 in 20 games.

Mike Holcomb helped revolutionize high school football in Kentucky with an Air-Raid attack at Breathitt County in the mid-1990′s and early 2000′s winning three state championships (1995-96, 2002).

“They’re trying and they’re giving us effort,” says Holcomb. “We ask a lot of them and sometimes the mental thing gets a little heavy, but they’re getting there. They’re trying to do what we ask them.”

As of now, Eli Steele will be the QB with Brady Hensley, on occasion, running the offense as well. Central has a good backfield and athleticism on the outside with Jaylen Davis, Jayden West, and Jeffrey Kinley.

“(We’ve) got a lot of good running backs,” says defensive end Edgren Sweat. “We are about four running backs deep and that can actually really play. I think we’re going to have a good year.”

Central lost two dozen-plus seniors, brings in a brand-new style of everything, but learning how to win again is priority number one.

“I think our main goal is to finally get our gears turning again and start winning some games,” believes senior lineman Noah Shipley.

For a team which has lost the taste of victory, Shipley has more attainable goals.

“I think we need to pick it up. A lot of people think (possibly unrealistically) we’re going to go out and win region or we’re going to go out and win state. For me, I just want to pick up my feet and win most of my home games. It’s my last year and I want to have this mindset that I went out my last year and gave everything I had and we won here on this home field.”

Holcomb, who won 272 games at Breathitt County and another 17 at Letcher Central, has a goal of his own with Madison Central.

“I’m going to try and help them win. I want those kids to taste success that other teams we have coached have.”

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