The Hellgate Knights haven't exactly been a beacon of success over the last several seasons, but after a changing of the guard, spirits are high for the team, even if it does mean busy two-a-day schedules.
"We practice at 8 in the morning, and for 90 minutes, then we have a lunch break, and we come back out and practice some more," says senior
WR Jack Lewis.
"It wears you out, and you're always tired, you just try to get to bed as soon as you can, and we go 100% for as long as we can," adds senior
lineman Ryan Handley
While the team has been under the guidance of new head coach Matt Softich since summer conditioning, they say things are a little more intense now.
"Summer was more laid back, and now it's more you go as hard as you can," says Lewis.
"Just keep getting better by one percent every day. Keep improving. The concentration level is good, but it's still early. When the pads come on, the concentration level seems to wain a little, but if they can keep the concentration level up and learn at the rate they are now, we'll be fine," says Softich.
Working hard, the team has a noticeable level of confidence, something that lacked the majority of last season.
"We've got Coach Softich here, and he knows what he's doing, he has a lot of experience with college, and as a semi-pro head coach. We feel
like he knows what he's doing, and he's going to lead us to victories in our opinion," says Handley
The team starts out their season with the always strong Capital High Bruins, a test they welcome, and aim to make a statement in.
"Most definitely. Especially with how their season ended last year. Not on a good note. They want to come out, show the school, the fans, the city, and the rest of the AA they'll be competitive this year," says Softich
While the team as a whole says they're greatly improved, they look to start their offensive attack with solid blocking in the trenches.
"We have the biggest line we've ever had. We're the biggest, and I think the best since I've been at Hellgate, we should be able to push the ball and run really well," says Handley.