Federal Hocking logo with text "BREAKING NEWS." Football players run in a line in front of bleachers at Federal Hocking football field
Players on the Federal Hocking Lancers team warm up running prior to their home game against Millersport, in Stewart, Ohio, on Oct. 1, 2021.

Federal Hocking cancels 2022 football season over roster concerns

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STEWART, Ohio (WOUB) — For years, Federal Hocking high school has struggled to field a full roster of players. Many kids were playing nearly every snap on both offense and defense. As a result, since 2015, the former TVC-Hocking competitors have a combined record of 3-55.

By 2019, things had become troubling for players and fans alike. After six games, the roster had suffered so many injuries that the team was forced to forfeit the remainder of the season.

Then, in 2020, the team left the Tri-Valley Conference in favor of matchups with smaller schools. Despite picking up two wins, the team once again had to cancel at least one game due to injuries.

The 2021 season brought new hope for Fed Hock faithful. New head coach Brad Woodson was committed to building a more positive locker room culture. He established a collaboration with the middle school team to ensure a more seamless transition into the high school schemes. Although the Lancers finished the season winless, the team’s roster was large enough to complete their entire schedule — which was Woodson’s foremost goal for the year.

But now, things have taken a turn for the worse.

Just two weeks before kickoff, the Federal Hocking Lancers have forfeited their entire schedule.

“We did not have enough players for a team for middle school or high school football this year,” athletic director Stephanie Evans said.

The decision comes a couple of weeks after the latest Federal Hocking school board meeting, during which the board announced the resignation of Woodson.

Former Belpre coach Lance Binegar was hired to fill the position. But now, the future of the entire Federal Hocking football program is in question.

“We plan to start working now to rebuild and increase numbers with the hopes of fielding a team next year,” Evans said.

This is a developing story.  Stay tuned to Gridiron Glory on social media and WOUB-PBS for further developments.