BONIFAY, Fla. (WMBB) – In his second stint as the Holmes County head football coach, Kevin Womble is taking over a battle-tested roster.
Womble was the Blue Devils’ assistant coach last season under Jeff Lee, who took a position at DeSoto High School in South Florida.
He previously served as the Holmes County head coach for four seasons before being let go in 2018. He spent time at Niceville and Vernon as an assistant, but the Holmes County alum says Bonifay is where he wants to be most.
“This is home,” Womble said. “I graduated here, I’ve grown up here, I bleed blue and gold. It doesn’t matter where I go, that’s still going to be what comes out if you cut me.”
More often than not, when a coach takes over a program he has a rebuild instore. However, that is not at all the case, as Womble is taking command of one of the more experienced Class 1R rosters in the area.
“They might not be on the radars of these D1 schools and things of that nature,” Womble said. “But they’re dang good high school football players and they’re capable of doing special things with the ball in their hands.”
The Blue Devils return 17 seniors who have multiple playoff victories under their belt. Senior running back and linebacker Colton Serpas said certain position groups can compete with the best teams in the Panhandle.
“Definitely our D-line, everybody has gotten bigger since last year,” Serpas said. “Braden Young, Gabe Justice, people like that, Tate Faircloth, they’ve just gotten a lot bigger, they’ve been working their butt off in the weight room. So I feel like that’s definitely going to show.”
On the other side of the ball, Holmes County returns their top two leading rushers, top two leading receivers and four of their five starting on the O-line.
The high-powered offense that scored more than 40 points in six games last year should be even more complex for opposing teams to defend.
“I kind of told the guys, we’ll be as creative as what we can execute and that’s a pretty dangerous thing,” Womble said. “If you can run and then throw, it in years past, maybe we’ve been able to throw it real well, but not run it as much. Last year we ran it a lot better. We threw it a little bit, you know, now let’s try to do both.”
Holmes County loves to use an option attack, and the orchestrator of that battle plan is senior quarterback, Landon Lumpkin. The dual-threat talent ran threw 18 and ran for 16 touchdowns while rushing for over 800 yards in his junior season.
“I feel like it definitely adds a little bit of spice to our offense,” Serpas said. “But it’s nice knowing that it’s not our only option if we need to put him somewhere else because he’s a very talented player.”
Now that opposing teams know of Lumpkin and will gameplan around him, the Blue Devils have devised a plan to use three separate quarterbacks and spread the field.
“Obviously, everybody’s going to be focused on number two,” Coach Womble said. “Wherever number two goes, that’s where the defense is probably going to call their strength, that’s where they’re going to focus their efforts. But what if number two is that wide, and now number sixteen is under center? And number three is over here at the wing, and we got different guys.”
The pieces seem to be in place for Holmes County to take the next step in competing for a region title, but whether or not they can make it happen, is still to be seen.
Lumpkin said that as the senior leader of the team, he’s certainly setting his goals as high as possible.
The goal is, to make it to state,” Womble said. “I want to make it to state real bad in football.”
Holmes County opens its preseason on Friday, August 18, at Blountstown, then will visit Marianna for its regular season opener on Friday, August 25.