There's a few things in Lost Creek this fall that the South Harrison football team hasn't seen in a few years.
One is numbers.
"We're just tickled to death," explained Hawks' Head Coach Brad Jett. "Right now we have 43 young men in camp. That's about what we had through the three weeks of summer. They're just excited to be here. It's nice to coach young men that want to be here and these gentleman want to be here and they're giving us everything they have."
Another is excitement.
"Everybody's been busting it and getting everything done, doing their job," said senior Wing/Linebacker Trae Corley.
"I mean, all the boys have been practicing really well and stuff. I think we'll be really good mentally and physically because we had a lot of boys working hard in the weight room this year and they're working hard in practice this year too," said senior Quarterback Cole James. "We haven't had any injuries at all yet this year and so everyone's sticking with it. I think we should be pretty good this season."
"It's going to be good team unity," said senior Tight End/Defensive End Tyler Childers. "We're going to communicate well and be able to work well together and then bring everything all together. We'll be just fine."
The excitement for South Harrison football started in December when more than 40 players started to show up for off season weight lifting. Coach Jett said he has enough players to run two scrimmages at one time with no one standing around. That's something that hasn't been possible the last couple of years and can only help the Hawks.
"We've got a nice sized junior class right now. This is the biggest junior class, biggest class we've had. I think it's 15 or 16 kids. We've got 12 freshman. So that's 27 out of the 43. Our sophomore class and senior classes are kind of small, but athletic wise, we're in good shape in every class."
In his 29th year, Coach Jett is excited to have players who are excited about South Harrison football. It makes a world of difference.
"I mean the other day we went through and ran our pass routes and threw the football and very few of them hit the ground. Usually we have to stand out there with a towel and two or three of them are soaked by the time we're done from wiping off footballs. This year it just seems like the kids are together, they like each other and they're just going all out. You throw a ball out and they're going to go out and get it," said Coach Jett.
The Hawks return experience in a large junior class. Most of the players started as sophomores, but Coach Jett can't quite yet nail down what his team's biggest strength may be this season.
"Don't know yet, don't know yet. Hopefully it's offensive line, defensive line because your lines take you where you want to go," said Coach Jett. "A lot of people spread it out and throw it all over the place but if they can't protect the quarterback, and in our case if we can't provide holes for our backs to run through, the o-line and d-line is where it's at. If we're strong up front, those kids were in the weight room from December all the way up until we broke and had to move our weights out so we could have a locker room, so until end of June, middle of July, we were lifting and we had good numbers there, mostly linemen. So that's got to be our strength. If that's not our strength, we're hurting early."
Coach Jett said his offensive line is returning pretty much in tact. James is back at quarterback. Coach Jett said the biggest question will be in the backfield.
"So, you know our biggest thing right now is just going back to the basics, working a lot of fundamentals," said Coach Jett. If you can't block and you can't tackle, you can't win football games."
The Hawks are also excited about the new bleachers at the stadium. Good facilities gives the team pride.