Hawley is looking to build off their best season in school history after winning their first postseason game ever.
"There is a lot of pressure, but I think we can easily overcome it and break history again," said Senior Lineman Lane Pickett. "I don't see why we can't be playing in December."
The Bearcats are primed to do just that as they return 11 starters from a year ago, including a majority of their offensive and defensive lines.
"It's a brotherhood," Pickett said describing his relationship with the Bearcat lineman. "I mean from the time we come on the field to the time we're off [it], we're always together. After practice we're always together. we're a family."
"It's always important to have those guys that are experienced and know what it's like to play in big games," said Head Coach Mitch Ables. "That stuff can rub off on everybody and be contagious."
That experience will be key for Ables as he enters his first season as a Varsity head coach. The former Hardin-Simmons wide receiver will have a tough test from the get-go as well. Ables must start by finding a quarterback. Luckily for him it's a three-way battle for the job. Senior Rex Wyatt is the front runner, but Cade Frazier and Quay Stokes are also in the mix.
"I'm really pleased with how all three of them are playing right now," said Ables. "We're just going to look to see how it all plays out."
Regardless of who earns the start spot, the Bearcats are confident. Plus, the entire team is excited to play for Ables.
"He's really hyped up," said Senior Lineman Kason Florence. "He's trying to get us going, and he's real excited about this year and getting everyone really pumped up."
"[The new coaching staff] fits our team really well, our athletes," added Pickett. "They're very intense [and] bringing a new offense. It's really gonna help us out a lot."