MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The University Hawks football program can be summed up behind one word- Experience. Nobody has more of that than 35 year head coach John Kelley and this year his team has experience, too.
“We went through the phase of being little boys and last year we were competitive but now I think with 21 seniors and 20 juniors, we’re an experienced football team. It showed in our scrimmage, we did very well in our scrimmage. We’re not getting beat up front, we’re not getting beat all over. We’re able to play with the big boys now,” Kelley said.
His players agree that this year is different. They’ve been working together on the field and in the weight room for multiple years now to build this type of chemistry.
“We’re just a lot more physical now. Being in the weight room. We know what it takes. We’re not going to get pushed around anymore or beat off of the line and what not. We’re ready to go out there and hit people basically. Just years in the weight room and just years together have built chemistry and patience with each other to know how the game is going to work and not panic and what not,” Donald Brandel, senior linebacker/ half back said.
With over 20 players in each class, that experience goes down to every position on the field.
The Hawks are led by junior quarterback Chase Edwards who started the past two seasons and will start under center again.
UHS likes to air it out on offense and Kelley said his weapons are never ending.
“We’ve got people that we can move it around and we did the other night. We probably threw about thirty-something passes and we’ve got connections with everyone,” Kelley said.
Improvement is what every team hopes for year to year. The Hawks can agree their line has improved and that’ll be crucial to the Hawks success.
“I think our line improved a lot. So Chase will have a lot more time to get it out to the receivers and be calm, not take as many hits this year,” Jaeden Hammack, junior receiver said.
Kelley said he liked what he’s seen from his team in scrimmages so far. But that experience will be put to the test officially in the first game of the season against John Marshall on Friday, August 27.