In 2022, the Hinton football team made a return trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2018. They were also the only Class A football team to go on the road in the round of 32 and win their playoff game. Now, the Blackhawks are back in Class 1A for the first time since 2017. Hinton head coach Kadrian Hardersen says last year’s success is upping this team’s confidence level heading into a new adventure.
The Blackhawks lose many top contributors off last year’s team that finished 6-4. Coach Hardersen says that has opened up the eyes of the next group of guys to the opportunity in front of them to take over those key roles.
One of those key roles that Hinton loses is at running back where Beau DeRocher ran scorched earth most nights for the Blackhawks last year. DeRocher ran for 1,425 yards and 18 touchdowns last year leading the offense. Garrett Lindley was the next man up running the ball for 339 yards and three touchdowns. Coach Hardersen says Lindley has gotten stronger in hopes to up those numbers more and more this year.
Thankfully, he will get to run behind an offensive line that graduates just one piece off last year’s team. Coach Hardersen says the group coming back is not the biggest, but they are athletic, and they will need to find ways to utilize that in their blocking schemes.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Blackhawks lose their top tackler, their leader in sacks, and their leading defensive back. This comes off a defense who held just three teams under 22 points in a game. Coach Hardersen says he is seeing some improved confidence on the defensive side of the ball.
A lot of that improved confidence is shown in the linebackers the Blackhawks will run out every night. Coach Hardersen says linebackers like Karson Ludwig are going to be relied on to lead the way on defense.
Hinton opens up with a long-standing rivalry against Gehlen Catholic who is no longer in their district with the class jump for Hinton. Coach Hardersen knows the Blackhawks will need to have their a-game right away to open the season.
Kickoff for the Blackhawks is August 25th at Jim Lorenzen Field in Le Mars against the Jays of Gehlen Catholic.
Click here to listen to our full interview with Kadrian Hardersen:
2023 HINTON BLACKHAWK FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
August 25 – at Gehlen Catholic
September 1 – at Western Christian
September 8 – AKRON-WESTFIELD
September 15 – RIDGE VIEW * (Homecoming)
September 22 – at Lawton-Bronson *
September 29 – at MVAOCOU *
October 6 – OABCIG *
October 13 – WEST SIOUX *
* – denotes Class 1A District 1 game