Byline: John Conceison
LEICESTER - Becker College football coach Mike Lichten must be hoping his team isn't afraid of heights.
"I tell our coaches and our players, `We're on the top of a roof,'" Lichten said before the Hawks' fourth workout of training camp. "We can either fall back to where we've been, or fall down the other side and have success."
The mission for Becker, coming off a 1-9 season, is to work its way to those new heights.
"It's just a matter of doing what's right, what's necessary, what's needed to be done 100 percent of the time to fall down that right side," Lichten said. "We've never won more than two games as a program since 2005. We really need to get to a point this year where we go to places we haven't been."
Senior running back Johnny Rivera sees things changing. "This year is different than most years," the co-captain said. "Between the experience and the leadership from the upperclassmen, and the hunger from the freshman class, I think we all mix in together pretty well. We all know what we have to do to win."
"It starts with the coaching staff," said senior wide receiver Luis Sanchez, the other co-captain. "There was no real chemistry in the group (last year), there were a bunch of egos and this and that. This year, with the new freshman class, there are no attitudes, everyone's eager to learn, everyone's looking up to the upperclassmen to do their job. It's all about chemistry and teamwork."
At 6-foot, 180 pounds, Sanchez is a solid target and Lichten is excited about his wide receiver corps being seven or eight deep, "a luxury we haven't had before." His tight ends include senior Eric Glynn and freshmen Justin McAfee and Joseph Geck.
"Geck is probably one of the best-blocking tight ends I have coached at any level," Lichten said.
Who will be throwing to them will be determined this week. Bobby Baker is the incumbent starter, but he has competition.
"Bobby has been here for three years now and he has started more than 20 games, so he's working hard to keep his spot," Lichten said. "Bobby, Kevin Finkelstein and Billy Ramirez have done their best to get better this offseason and push one another, and we've had some great freshman activity at that spot."
The offensive line will be young, with freshmen Tim Farina (center), Shane Combs (right tackle) and Dana Groleau (left tackle) as possible starters. Working with them will be senior right guard Cecil Apple, "who has probably taken more snaps than anybody in the...