Lancers Seek Improvement Through Battling

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Luke Richards is the fourth football head coach at Federal Hocking in as many years. Despite the program’s instability, Richards believes in his Lancers.

“As long as we stay healthy, we’ll have a chance at winning every game,” the first-year head coach said.

Health is key for Federal Hocking because depth is not one of this team’s strengths. The Lancers enter the season with 24 players, but that number is an upgrade from last season’s total of 18.

Federal Hocking finished the 2014 season at 2-8, but eight returning seniors are eager to earn redemption. Quarterback A.J. Cobb spearheads the strong senior class.

“He’s my leader,” Richards said of Cobb. “Cobb and (Devon) Robinson are incredible athletes. Devon Maxey is our ‘rah rah’ leader. He gets everyone ready to play.”

Richards, a 1995 Federal Hocking graduate, coached previously at Harrison (OH) from 2007-2012 and Mechanicsburg (OH) from 1999-2006, but his new gig in Stewart will be his first as head coach.

His team’s motto this season is to “BATTLE.” Richards wants his team to represent the Lancers’ nickname.

“Napoleon’s favorite cavalry was his lancers,” Richards said. “Lancers start the fight; take the fight to the opponent.”

The “BATTLE” motto applies to the team on and off the field. Richards explained that he wants his players to battle in the classroom, workplace and of course, on game days.

“We say ‘every day when you leave here, you should be better than you were yesterday’,’” Richards said. “I want them to think we can beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

The Steelers aren’t on the schedule, but a season opener against rival Alexander is right around the corner.

“Our first goal is to beat Alexander,” Richards said. “We need to take everything one day at a time.”