The 2012 University Hawks came out swinging with a 35-7 win over Lewis County beginning another post season run. But when the Hawks came up on the Minutemen in November, things didn't go as smooth. This year, they don't plan on making the same mistake.
"I hope it hurts. I hope it hurts badly and sticks in their crawl and I hope they're motivated by it," said UHS head coach John Kelly. "The objective is to get into the playoffs, that just gets you a shiny certificate, you need to try an make some noise and this team is capable of doing it."
University High has a deep postseason tradition, appearing in the playoffs in 16 of its last 18 years. Returning there this year starts with the Hawks' seniors.
"They've got to be the play-makers, the leaders," said Kelly. "They have to step up and be the directors out on the field. I think if they do that, the young kids will follow and we'll be ok in the future."
UHS had plenty of big names a year ago like Deion Cunningham, and Jon Lewis who now plays at WVU. This year Travis Renner, and Jack Armstrong are two big names sure to draw attention. The QB-Receiver duo will headline what appears to be a powerful offense.
"We have so many play makers at the receiver and slot like Jack Armstrong, Tony Richardson and John Moore, that I don't have to put to much pressure on myself," said Renner. "I can just relax, play how I know how to play and know the rest of the team will do what they have to do."
When the Hawks open up the season Friday August 30, they will get a chance to avenge last year's postseason defeat. UHS travels to Lewis County and hopes it fares better this time around.
"The play-offs isn't good enough anymore, and it's never really been good enough," said Armstrong. "Our ultimate goal is the state championship, you don't go into anything not wanting to be the best, and we want to be the best. People can say what they want about that but we're out here to be the best, and that's all there is to really say about that."