Hard work key to success
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 1:00 AM
The 2014 football season is going to be a learning experience for both Head Coach Stacy Luker and the Neshoba Central Rockets.
Luker, who has spent his entire 26-year coaching career in Alabama, has been with the Rockets since taking the head coaching job in mid-January. He came to Neshoba Central from Sweetwater, Ala., where his teams won five state championships.
Luker will be the first to admit that he doesn't know a lot about the teams the Rockets will face.
"I can watch film but you really can't judge a team until you see them in person," Luker said. "I believe that if we as coaches work very hard, and we work the kids hard, and you play hard for 48 minutes, that somehow, good things can happen.
"And that's what we are going to do. I have a good group of assistant coaches. When I first came in, they had the offseason weight program going. We had three good weeks of spring training and did well in the spring game at Wayne County," Luker said.
"We will start lifting weights June 16," Luker said. "We are going work hard as a team all summer and get ready to play. I don't know what kind of season we are going to have but we are going to work hard and try to get better each week."
Luker finished the spring with 66 players on his roster. He said one goal was to develop separate offensive and defensive units so you won't have players starting on both sides of the ball.
"We are going to have players who have to play both ways," Luker said. "But to compete on the 5A level, we are going to have separate units because that is what the other teams in our division are doing. That's how we worked on it during the spring and the players really seemed to like it."
Luker said he was pleased with what he saw in the Spring game back in May at Wayne County.
"It was really more of a scrimmage then a game," Luker said. "We scrimmaged against Thomasville and Demopolis, two Alabama teams that I know something about. We only gave up one touchdown and I was really pleased with that."
Luker went over his coaching staff. Glenn Sanders is the offensive coordinator while Will Reese coaches the offensive line and Barry South coaches the wingbacks and tight ends. Lacy McBeath is an offensive assistant.
On the other side of the ball, Chris Richman is the defensive coordinator. Wade Pierce coaches the defensive line while Shannon Ruffin coaches the defensive backs and David Huffman is the defensive assistant.
South and Ruffin are new to the staff; the rest are returning from last year.
Neshoba Central Rockets 2014 football schedule
Aug. 15 - host Meridian High in jamboree
Aug. 22 - Newton County
Aug. 29 - at Kosciusko
Sept. 5 - at Philadelphia
Sept. 12- NE Lauderdale
Sept. 19 - Open
Sept. 26 - Pearl *
Oct. 3 - at Callaway *
Oct. 10 - Canton *
Oct. 17 - at Germantown *
Oct. 24 - Ridgeland *
Oct. 30 - at Lanier *
Nov. 7 - at Vicksburg *
* Region 2-5A game