LOST CREEK, W.Va – The South Harrison Hawks may have missed the playoffs last season but there were definitely positives to be taken away, with plenty of improvements seen as the year went along with highlights coming in back to back wins to close the season over Braxton County and Tucker County.

A lot of that had to do with players needing to adjust to new schemes on both sides of the ball that first-year head coach Brett Hathaway brought into the fold.

Now heading into year two, the former Bridgeport High standout is hoping those late season gains can translate into more wins in 2022.

“Really just the style of offense and defense we implemented last year, we’re hoping carries over into this year,” he said, “A little bit familiarity with it and then just the momentum we ended the year with last year with a couple wins, hopefully that carries over into the offseason and this preseason here as we get ready for week one.”

That is echoed by the guys in the pads as well. Aiden Moreno is set to return to the backfield for his senior year and says that the level of determination in the locker room coming into the season as at its peak.

We’re very determined to do better and improve every year,” he said, “Last year, we didn’t finish how we wanted to and perform how we wanted to. This year we’re ready to get back on the field and try to improve on that.”

When it comes to the on-field product the Hawks are looking to run out there this season, Hathaway is looking for his team to play much like the early 2010s Bridgeport teams that he was a part of with a run-first, smashmouth style that sets out to overpower the opposition.

“We’re hoping we’re physical up front. We’ve got six out of seven back on the offensive line so we’re hoping they continue to take a another step up,” he said, “We want to run the football and play good defense. Those are the two things we consider the backbone of our team and those are the things we’re going to continue to try to work on.”

There will be carries up for grabs to be sure as all-state running back Jacob Haddix departs via graduation but quarterback Caden Davis begins his senior season under center.

While his value as the veteran signal caller may be what jumps off the page to the average spectator, his head coach values him just as much or maybe even more in the secondary.

“We rely on Caden a lot both offensively but maybe even a little bit more defensively at safety and corner there, the defensive backs,” he said, “Him knowing the offense as well as he does is a big plus. It makes everything go a little bit more crisp this offseason but defensively we rely on him even more.”

With a strong finish to the 2021 season and a full year under the belt for a first-year head coach in Hathaway, there is plenty of excitement to be had in the Hawks program this fall.

“It’s exciting. I’ve always loved football and I’m excited to be back out here working with these guys, my friends. It’s truly something that I love to do and I’m excited,” Moreno said.

South Harrison kicks off the season at home, taking on Doddridge County on August 26.