Last year might as well be ancient history to the BHRV Nighthawks, as they’re looking at an almost completely new team.
“I think we kinda block that out,” said Nighthawks senior linebacker Gavin Dykstra. “Just because there’s so many spots that we’re refilling. We only have three returning starters. So we’re just blocking that out and it’s like a fresh start”
“We’ve got a lot of new faces, a lot of guys competing for spots,” said Nighthawks head coach Cory Brandt. “We’re having a lot of fun with them right now, they’re getting better every day. Taking baby steps is what we call it but I’m very proud of how these kids have performed so far.”
Those players who are filling the gaps left by a huge senior class have been waiting for a long time, and they’re working hard to show they belong.
“They definitely have been waiting a long time to play,” said Nighthawks senior lineman Cade VanZee. “They’re showing a lot of strength out there. It’s one of the biggest, strongest lines we’ve had in a while”
“What I’m seeing right now is some great leadership and a lot of intensity to really work at getting better,” said Brandt. “They really care. They really want to work and learn what they’re doing. We make mistakes, we make a lot of mistakes but getting better and learning from those mistakes is what we’re trying to do. And I’ve seen that from our kids in the first week.”
The work ethic of a state-qualifying team is still there with BHRV, but their focus right now isn’t on the playoffs.
“Our expectation is the same every year: try to get better every day,” said Brandt. “Get out here, work hard, become the best you can be with what God gave you. Try to become the best you can be for your teammates and see if we can get better. We don’t have any other expectations than that. we feel if we take care of that, then good things will happen.”
“I think there’s still a really good chance we can be successful at what we do,” said Dykstra. “We just come together as a team. We work together, we work hard at practice, and just work on becoming one as a family.”
With 2018 in the rear view, the brand new BHRV Nighthawks are working towards another successful season.