Posted: 3:35 pm Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Football: King’s Academy RB James Holland to return against Clewiston 

By Anthony Chiang

For the first two games of the season, James Holland watched from the sideline due to an injured ankle.

This week, the running back will have a better view of the action. King’s Academy coach Heath Nivens expects Holland to play a “significant role” for the Lions in their matchup against Clewiston (2-0) on Friday.

Holland said he was able to practice on Monday for the first time in weeks, but added that he did feel some pain in his ankle. However, the senior said he’s determined to play through the pain against the Tigers. This will add an extra dimension to a King’s Academy offense that has learned to play without one of its top playmakers.

“It has allowed us to become a little more multiple, and it has allowed us to really focus on our base as an offense and get better at that,” Nivens said. “We haven’t strayed from that in our first two games, but now that James is back and we’re getting other guys back from injuries, this is the first game we’ll go in to with more in our arsenal than our base run game.”

Fullback Garrett Larson, who also plays on defense, is expected to return from an injury against Clewiston, too. But Nivens said he is not sure if Larson will be limited to just one side of the ball Friday because of lingering effects from his injury.

Still, King’s Academy will enter its showdown against the Tigers as healthy as it has been all season. It’s perfect timing, as a physical Clewiston team stands in the way of a 3-0 start for the Lions.

“We have to be able to line up, play physical and stop the run,” Nivens said. “Everywhere coach Pete Walker has been, that has been something that’s a trademark of his football team. They are able to run the ball well between the tackles, and we have to be able to stop that if we’re going to have an opportunity to win this game.”