With the bulk of its offense returning — including the quarterback and tailback — the Rockhurst Hawklets have an atypical amount of experience back as they search for their third Missouri Class 6 state championship in eight seasons.
So the quantity is there. As for the quality?
The Hawklets will answer that pretty quickly.
Five of the nine teams on Rockhurst’s regular-season schedule played in state championship games last season. That includes the opening-week opponent, Rock Bridge, which lost to Blue Springs in the Class 6 state title matchup last season.
“We have a lot of kids who have some experience. Whether that’s good experience or not, that’s yet to be seen,” said Rockhurst coach Tony Severino, entering his 32nd season. “But we’ll get a chance to find out real soon.”
Rockhurst faces only two teams from the Kansas City area in the regular season, with a trip to Blue Springs South in week five and a home game against Blue Springs in week six.
Severino said his team is ahead of the preseason pace it set last season, when it finished 5-5, largely because it returns its starting quarterback, T.J. Green, the son of former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green. And the squad returns its leading rusher, senior Kiah Kintchen.
“Whenever you have your starting quarterback and leading rusher back from a year ago, you have a good chance,” Severino said. “We feel pretty good from that point. We’re just looking for that balance and consistency offensively.”
The defense is much less proven, though Severino said his team has the talent to put some pressure on the quarterback this fall. Middle linebacker Luke Ritter is expected to serve as the main cog for the Hawklets’ defense.