A high school football coach doesn’t last 33 years on the sideline without a strong group of assistants.
When asked for the secret behind his long-term success at Lancaster, John Hoch heaped credit on another ally.
“I’ve got a very supportive wife,” he said.
Hoch has been named the Wisconsin Associated Press High School Football Coach of the Year, following a season in which he tied the state record with his seventh WIAA state championship.
Lancaster ended a three-year streak of state runner-up finishes with a 41-21 victory over Amherst in the Division 5 championship game last month.
“I enjoy it. I don’t know how else you could do it, the challenge of preparing our kids to get ready,” Hoch said. “I enjoy the challenge.”
Lancaster started as many as seven sophomores but had some talented returnees. Four Lancaster seniors earned AP first-team all-state honors: running back Tyler Glass, offensive lineman David Chadd, Brett Snider (honored as an all-purpose back) and defensive back Andy Ryan.
“When I look back at it, a group of kids showed great dedication to our program,” Hoch said. “I’ve got a great coaching staff, 14 strong, (at a) small school — a lot of them volunteer.”
Hoch previously won state titles in 1993, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2006. He said there exists “a great group of kids who believe in football at Lancaster. Parents buy into it there.
“Hopefully we don’t screw with it that much,” he joked.
Player of the Year: At 6 feet, 2 inches and 220 pounds, Bay Port quarterback Alec Ingold has size worthy of a pass-rushing outside linebacker.
Ingold’s impressive season helped Bay Port to the Division 1 state semifinals for the first time since 2005. As a result, the Northern Illinois recruit has been selected as the Wisconsin Associated Press High School Football Player of the Year.
Ingold completed 87 of 142 passes (61 percent) for 1,384 yards with 16 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also ranked third in the state in rushing with 2,324 yards (10.2 yards per carry) and 29 touchdowns as Bay Port went 12-1 and averaged 47.6 points per game.
Joining the list of four Lancaster players who made the all-state first team were Waunakee senior running back/quarterback Troy Laufenberg, a unanimous choice, and Marshall’s Ty DeForest, a two-way selection. The 6-2, 215-pound senior made the first team as an all-purpose back and the second team as an outside linebacker.
Other area players making the second team were Cambridge junior running back Josh Owens and Sun Prairie senior offensive lineman Chase Crothers.