Build the Hill


FALL 2022

“We are stacking days. First block, second block… If we are going to do this, we have to be great all the time. We can’t just turn it on and off on Friday night… We are students of the game. Be great at everything you do,” he said before calling “Cats on three!” 

 These were words spoken by Richmond Hill High School Head Football Coach, Matt Lezotte, as he prepped the hardworking Wildcats to watch film Wednesday morning before the bell rang for school.
 Have you ever sat with the mantra our high schoolers are living by– Build the Hill? 

I’ve always liked the phrase Coach Lezotte’s staff coined from the get go, but if I’m being honest, I haven’t really had time to stop and process what it means, not just to the kids donning the black and gold on Friday night at Wildcat Stadium, but what it’s intended to mean to the community at large. We see the hash tag all over social media, but are we as adults applying it? Think about this…

In theory, our rather large recreation programs should and could be auto feeders for our rather large middle and high school athletic programs… the littlest athletes learning the next level offense and defense, so that they are ready to be the future representatives of the sport for Richmond Hill. What if we coordinated this kind of effort? Can you imagine the programs we could build.

This coach is matching action to words… Take a look at his Tuesday night. After varsity practice, Coach Lezotte visited Coach Ryan Glazer’s 8U Wildcats for a pep talk. He told me he had just left an incredible second practice of the week and while that was exciting, this was awesome. He didn’t have to come talk to these little fellas, he wanted to, and he left them not only with a burning desire to win, but more importantly he left them with a lesson that will hopefully transcend the fields and perpetuate greatness in their (or might we say all of our futures?). “You can control two things in this game: your attitude and your effort… Not the weather, not the kid on the bus, just you and your commitment to being the best you can be.” He left block one thinking about how they were a piece of the foundation of block two of the Hill. The future.

Wednesday morning, he reminded the big ‘Cats of the same thing. And if you are reading this perhaps you’re thinking about your commitment to community and your part in the foundation for the next level of whatever it is you are part of in building this Hill. 

Block one, block two, year by year, team by team, commitments to layering good decisions on top of one another… continuity wins. Aren’t we all students in the game of life? Let’s do this together… let’s Build the Hill.