Sports

Hatcher, Racers continue to work to first season

With many of their families still back in Statesboro, Shawn Bostick said the members of the Murray State football team’s coaching staff are getting plenty of time to get to know their new players.

The Racers just wrapped up their first set of spring practices with Macon native Chris Hatcher as their head coach. Bostick, a former Monroe Academy star, has worked for Hatcher at Valdosta State and Georgia Southern. Bostick followed Hatcher to Murray State after Hatcher and his staff were fired at Georgia Southern after last season.

That move, however, hasn’t been completed for some of the coaches’ families, and that means the coaches have extra time to spend with their new players.

“(Defensive coordinator Ashley) Anders, me and Coach Hatcher, we’re still waiting for our families to get up here,” Bostick said. “We’re still selling our houses and letting our kids finish school before they move up here. So we’re in the office all the time. But that shows these players how much we will sacrifice for them and what we’ll do for them. We’re getting to spend a lot of time with them, an enormous amount of time with them, and that’s going to help this team.”

The Racers open their first season with Hatcher and his staff Sept. 2 at Kent State. Hatcher said the first spring with the team went well, and he has been impressed with the players’ willingness to take to the coaching of the new staff.

The Racers, who play in the FCS’ Ohio Valley Conference, have won just 13 games the past five years.

“We improved a great deal from practice one to practice 15,” Hatcher said. “They worked hard. We wanted them to work at our tempo, and we improved in that area. We’re working to build a winning attitude, and they are doing everything we’re asking them to do. They’re eager to improve, and watching them do what we’re asking them to do has been fun.”

Hatcher said he has a talented group of receivers to rely on and is looking forward to finding someone to get those players the ball in his high-flying passing attack. He pointed to senior Jeff Ehrhardt and sophomore Casey Brockman as candidates for the Racers’ top quarterback spot.

“Our receivers, they’re terrific, and that’s allowing us to install our offense and move forward with it,” Hatcher said. “Our quarterbacks have done a good job, and they’re learning. It certainly helps to have that receiving corps. They’ve been fantastic. Those guys can really run, and they can catch the ball.”

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