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Coach hopes Lincoln can build on this year’s success

Zebras earned second playoff win in school history
By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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It was a historical season for head coach Ken Lowe and Lincoln High’s varsity football team. The Zebras won their first 11 games of the season and picked up the second playoff victory in school history when it topped Livingston 49-15 in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division IV playoffs. Sonora ended Lincoln’s season on Friday night in Lincoln when the Wildcats downed the Zebras 36-20. Lincoln (11-1) had never before won 11 games in one season as the 1975 team went unbeaten in the regular season but finished 10-1. “Hopefully we can build on this and some of the kids in the future will know the work that it takes to get here,” Lincoln coach Ken Lowe said. “(Tradition) is a big part of this - I think that we had originally thought that this (season) was going to be another step to us getting back to a positive side and it turned out to be so much more than one step.” Lincoln won the Pioneer Valley League championship this year and was one of the two No. 1 seeds in DIV. This after Lincoln went 1-9 in 2008. “Probably the turnaround,” said Lowe about what was the most incredible thing about the season. “We were excited about who we had and what the season was going to bring to us. Did we think that we would make this many steps? Probably not. But we were really excited about the future.” Twenty-one juniors will return to the varsity team next year and the players on the Lincoln freshmen and junior varsity teams also were witnesses to a great varsity season. “The great thing is that if we get back to the playoffs next year, or in the future, some of the sophomore kids that we have, or even the juniors, know where we have to play at the next level,” Lowe said. Lowe was also very proud of his coaching staff that included Bob Pierce, Hank Sekoch, John Avery, Chris Hodge, Garry Gookin, Chris Bombard, Mike Maul, Aaron Hagman and Chris Collins. “The coaching staff this year did an outstanding job,” Lowe said. “They sacrifice endless hours away from their families. My defensive coordinator, Bob Pierce, put together an excellent defensive scheme every week. “He does a great job of placing players where their talents can be best used.” Lowe also thanked others that helped the program succeed. “I appreciate the support that the school and the community showed us,” Lowe said.  “It created an exciting atmosphere to play in. In addition, football requires an incredible amount of fundraising, and I want to thank those who pledged money for our Lift-a-thon, patronized our fireworks booth and dinner dance, and who purchased our Zebra discount cards.  “These fundraisers are crucial to our program.”