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For their own good
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BROOKSVILLE - Walk onto Hernando Christian's campus in the fall, and you'll be met with a strong dose of two things: football and Christianity.
For David Rotteveel, that works out perfectly.
One year after transferring from Hudson because of his dissatisfaction with secular public school education, the junior-to-be enters the Lions' spring game as the man in charge of leading a young team to its third straight five-win season.
"I've been waiting for this all my life, " Rotteveel said.
Rotteveel isn't a typical high school sophomore. He speaks strongly and confidently, both about his place as HCA's starting quarterback and the beliefs that led him and his family to this small private school last year.
After becoming a Christian a year and a half ago, Rotteveel says he wanted to attend a school with a Bible-based curriculum. He enrolled at HCA at the beginning of the last school year, but wasn't eligible to play football until late in the season. Rotteveel played the last two games of the year at wide receiver before establishing himself as the heir apparent to graduating quarterback Stephen Johnson.
"He's excellent, " Hernando Christian coach David Raley said. "He has a very strong arm. He can throw over 50 yards in the air, accurately. He can throw on the run. He's just good."
HCA has no returning seniors and just three juniors. But the Lions are confident Rotteveel and some of the other underclassmen who can replace the first senior class in the four-year-old program's history.
Rotteveel, meanwhile, said he is enjoying his new life.
"It's not the most convenient ride, " said the quarterback, whose parents drive him 35 minutes to school every day, "but it's worth every minute."