SHINNSTON, W.Va. – Game week has arrived! And as we continue to preview each local high school football team, we now take a look at the Lincoln Cougars.
Expectations are certainly there for the Lincoln Cougars this season.
Rob Hawkins’ large senior class is experienced with three and four-year starters, and have been waiting for this moment, with the hopes of returning to the postseason.
“I like those expectations, being held at a standard that makes you want to play better, to prove to our coaches, to our teammates, that we’re going to be good. I really hope that everyone in our senior class realizes that,” said Lincoln senior WR/DB, Zach Snyder.
Unfortunately, the wait will be longer for some players than others, as senior lineman Payton Hawkins will miss the first few weeks due to injury.
“It’s not fun, I’ve been working as hard as I can to get back,” said Hawkins. “Just, trying to be a leader for the guys on the field as much as I can. Tying to be a leader in the locker room, held the younger guys get through. Help them be able to get through until I can get back.”
Asked about seeing the field differently from his current “position” compared to down in the trenches, he said, “Yeah, I can really see what I need to do better, and what I need to work on and what I can make sure I need to do by the time I get back.”
Offensively, senior David Tate returns for another year at quarterback, with Snyder and Corey Prunty on the outside.
Defensively, seniors Caleb Trotter and Cordell Taylor return, as Hawkins has a combined 17 starters back from a year ago, with a total of twelve seniors on the roster.
“Four of our offensive linemen are back. They’ve started the last two years, so they’re back for their senior year. And that’s why we’re happy to be out here,” said Hawkins. “Because those kids have worked extremely hard for our program, so we definitely want to see them go out the right way – get a full season in and have a chance to accomplish the goals they’ve set for themselves.”
Other notable players for Lincoln include a duo of sophomore RB/LB Levi Moore and Antwan Hilliard.
And while Moore and Hilliard have time to leave their marks in Shinnston, this group of seniors looks to make it to the postseason for the first time in their high school careers.
They will get a taste of playoff football from the jump — playing three of their first four games against teams who made the playoffs a year ago.
And it begins this Friday, at home, against Fairmont Senior.