E.A. Sports Today

Hughes’ time away

Faith Christian coach will take a year off from coaching to pursue a ministry internship in Washington,D.C. Prater to serve as interim.

Cover photo: Faith Christian’s Cory Hughes chest bumps freshman Conner Richerzhagen after the Lions upset White Plains this season. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

Cory Hughes, having just coached Faith Christian’s boys to their third consecutive Northeast Regional appearance, will take a year off from coach to pursue ministry opportunities, he said today.

Faith assistant coach Jacques Prater will serve as interim coach until Hughes returns.

Hughes informed the Lions at an 11:30 a.m. meeting.

“My full-time profession is pastoring Grace Fellowship Church,” Hughes said. “A few months ago, I was offered, and have now accepted, a six-month internship with Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC.  

“This internship is right in the heart of the 24-25 basketball season.”

Faith reached the Northeast Regional in each of Hughes’ three seasons as the Lions head coach. They kept their consistency despite graduation losses included Ethan Richerzhagen, Thomas Curlee and Jacques Prater, Jr.

Led by freshman Conner Richerzhagen and senior Carson Harris, this season’s Lions started 3-10 against an early schedule loaded with higher classified teams but finished 17-17, winning another area title and falling to Skyline in Wednesday’s Class 1A Northeast Regional semifinals.

“Cory put it in our mind that we can go farther than we think,” Harris said. “That just helped us perform like we did, and that shows is life that you can achieve anything that you want.”

Hughes looks forward to resuming his side job in the 2025-26 season.

“Faith Christian School has just given everything a coach could want,” he said after the Lions’ loss to Skyline. “I know some buddies of mine that are very needy and ask for stuff, and they don’t get it. I get everything I want at Faith Christian School. It’s the best place to coach.”

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