Community MVP: South Windsor’s Hodge

Football season is the busiest time of year for South Windsor’s David Hodge, and it’s no surprise either.  Hodge is the President of South Windsor’s Youth football program, coaches the eighth grade A-team, and is the offensive coordinator for the South Windsor High School football team.

“During the season I spend about thirty hours a week on the field,” Hodge said of his commitment to South Windsor football.  That of course doesn’t include the many hours he logs off the field in his role as President of South Windsor Youth Football, an outstanding commitment from a man with a full-time job and a family of his own.

Hodge, a resident of South Windsor for the last seventeen years, has been involved with football his whole life.  In his hometown of Newton, Connecticut, Hodge played five years of midget football before moving onto Montville High School, where he played all four years.  Hodge then took his game to the college level, playing four years at Central Connecticut State University before beginning his coaching career as an assistant at Central.

South Windsor is not the first community David Hodge has positively impacted.  A teacher in Hartford for twenty-one years, Hodge was an assistant coach at Hartford Public for three years before becoming the head coach at Weaver.  In five seasons as Weaver’s head coach, Hodge led his team to two State Championships, in 1996 and 1997.  In his role as Athletic Director at Sports Sciences, Hodge was the founder of the school’s football program.

In 2000, David Hodge left coaching.  “My family is my first priority,” Hodge said, “When my youngest son was born I stopped coaching.  It’s hard to coach and raise kids.”  Fortunately for South Windsor football, Hodge’s coaching hiatus would be short lived.  When Hodge’s youngest son, Dylan, was six, Hodge joined to board of South Windsor Youth Football, becoming the president the following year and resuming his coaching career once again.  “I got involved because I love football and my son wanted to play.”

Football has certainly become a family affair for David Hodge.  Hodge’s oldest son, David, is currently the JV Quarterback at South Windsor High School and Hodge hopes to have the opportunity to coach him in the near future.  Hodge’s younger son, Dylan, is on the eighth grade A-team.  Hodge has coached Dylan and his teammates for six years now.  “I’m proud of this group of eighth graders.  Last year we had two A-teams that both made the playoffs.  My team is looking to win another championship,” Hodge said of the group he has coached since 2008.

Now in his sixth year as a coach and president of South Windsor Youth Football, Hodge gives credit to all the other volunteers who make the program possible.   “It’s hard to get anything done by yourself,” Hodge said, specifically thanking Steve Harz, Jeff Jones, Kevin Ryan, Mark Davis, and Rich Mabey, the men who have coached with him for the last six years.  “I couldn’t do this without them.”

Hodge’s commitment to his community is not limited to football.  Hodge has also coached travel soccer, recreational basketball, and baseball in South Windsor.  “The most rewarding part of coaching is seeing the kids grow,” Hodge said.  “You hope the skills you teach them will help them on and off the field.”  As for his future in South Windsor Football, Hodge says he will continue to coach even after his sons are done playing.

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