DHS coach talks 2023 football at Rotary Club

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2023

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The speaker for the Aug. 9 Rotary Club meeting was new Demopolis High School (DHS) football coach Lance Tucker who took over as head coach in May of this year.

Tucker began by expressing his pride at being a part of Demopolis and said he has been given the opportunity to be the next leader of the football team.

“Being here in Demopolis feels like I’m home. I contacted everybody I knew in Demopolis to contact because I know what Demopolis is and I know what this community stands for,” Tucker said. “I know how proud you are of our school system and our athletic department. I know we want to win. Winning is big and nobody wants to win more than me. I promise you that.”

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Tucker said he wanted to be in Demopolis so badly that he left the “Hoover of Tennessee.” He and the 2023 football team aim to give the community their very best, Tucker explained.

“We’re going to represent you to the very best of our abilities. That’s a promise,” said Tucker.

The Tigers team will see several starters returning this season and Tucker feels like he has a very good team this year. Whether or not the team is championship material Tucker said comes down to luck.

“Winning a state championship is luck. You’ve got to be healthy and the ball has to bounce your way. The best team doesn’t always win, most of the time they do. But to be a champion, to run that five-week gauntlet of playoff games, is a tough five weeks,” said Tucker. “But the goal is to be a champion and that is what we are aiming for this season.”

Tucker said that one thing he has noticed about the team is their collective love for football. He described the players as “hard-nosed and tough” and that is one reason he wanted to come back to Demopolis to coach.

“We have to do some little things correctly and have to polish some things up. Coach Seymour did a phenomenal job with this program. It’s not like we’re taking over a program that’s broken. This program is in great shape and we just want to take the next step forward,” said Tucker.

Tucker said the one thing that has been tough is knowing what his players have been through recently, such as getting an almost completely new coaching staff and losing a teammate in Isiah Henley who was shot and killed in June.

“They’ve lost a coach and that’s like losing a family member. After that, they lost four assistant coaches. They pretty much lost their entire coaching staff that they trusted. Then on top of that, they tragically lost a teammate, they lost a brother,” said Tucker. “These young men have been through traumatic experiences over the last two months that most young people don’t go through at all during their high school years.”

Tucker said it’s going to take patience for everything to settle into place and for this year’s team to find its rhythm this season.

The Tigers will start the season off on the road against American Christian next Friday, August 25. The first home game of the season will be the following Friday, September 1 when the Tigers take on the Jackson Aggies.