Week 1 of High School Football is here and one of the key matchups will feature Hawthorne visiting their non-conference rival, Pk Yonge this Friday.
The Hawthorne Hornets enter Week 1 with a state ranking of 163. After losing major talent from last year, head coach Cornelius Ingram feels that this past spring has prepared his young team for this upcoming season. The team picked up a preseason win against Oak Hall. Still, Ingram says that there is room for flourishing at the wide receiver and cornerback positions. Both positions feature freshmen getting playing time.
With the whole offensive line returning for the Hornets, Ingram sees it as their strongest position going into the season. Ingram is also excited to see his defense go to work. He feels that they have some fast guys and also big enough guys that can shift and understand different positions. Last year the Hornets went 12-1 with their only loss coming from Madison County in the FHSAA Football class 1A playoffs.
Pk Yonge Blue Wave enters the season with a state ranking of 276. Coach Marcus McDonald is going into the season with a young team. With the loss of quarterback Carter Kutchko, coach McDonald has been working hard with AJ Small the sophomore quarterback who will be stepping in. “He can run the football, throw the football and is a heck of an athlete,” said McDonald. “He had patterned himself after Anthony Richardson and wants to be a complete quarterback, we love what we have in him, and he’s going to be key in replacing offensive production in both of our running backs. Just like Hawthorne, Pk Yonge has a fast defense that knows how to get to the ball, fill lanes, and force turnovers.
When these two rivals faced off last year, it ended in a 51-19 win for the Hornets. Both teams have relatively young talent, and this looks like a game that will be defined on defense.
“They are a well coached team, ” said Coach Ingram. “We played them last year and they have some athletes. I think its huge for us because we have to travel there and especially with such a young team we can see what we are made out of. They have a great program and it is going to be an exciting matchup and test for us.”
Kick off is set for Friday at 7 p.m.