SPORTS

Hawks set to defend title

Posted 9/2/21

By ALEX SPONSELLER The Bishop Hendricken football team pulled off a comeback victory against La Salle in the spring to claim its 10th title in 11 years. The Hawks got back to work recently and will be squaring off in a championship rematch this week in

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SPORTS

Hawks set to defend title

Posted

By ALEX SPONSELLER The Bishop Hendricken football team pulled off a comeback victory against La Salle in the spring to claim its 10th title in 11 years. The Hawks got back to work recently and will be squaring off in a championship rematch this week in the teams’ injury fund exhibition, with regular season action starting next week.

“In some ways it feels like two years ago, in others it feels like two weeks ago. It’s been a fairly normal adjustment … the biggest adjustment is that we’re playing La Salle (in the injury fund game). We haven’t had a lot of practice,” said Hendricken head coach Keith Croft.

The team will be turning to its third quarterback in as many years, as senior David Lynch is set to take over after serving as the team’s backup last season, where he also started multiple games including the semifinals.

“He’s looking really good, he’s doing everything that you could ask from a senior quarterback. He’s handling everything, he’s handling the huddle, he’s been a leader, his passing game has evolved, he has a strong arm, he’s doing everything that we ask of him,” said Croft, who is not concerned about the turnover at the position. “We’re used to it. It’s kind of the nature of the beast here at Hendricken, and we’re OK with that. He’s a smart athlete that won some big games for us last year. We have all the confidence in the world in him and the quarterbacks behind him.”

On the defensive side of the ball, the Hawks also return All-State end Brandyn Durand, who turned in a stellar performance in the state championship game.

“He’s got a lot (of momentum) and as a big-time baseball player, he’s a confident kid. Obviously, I’m glad we have him,” said Croft.

Overall, the Hawks took their biggest hit on the line, graduating multiple starters on each side of the ball including All-Stater Chris LoPresti.

“We lost a lot of linemen, some key members on both sides of the ball. We have a good group of seniors and a hungry group of sophomores and juniors. It’s going to take some time, but sometimes having a tough schedule is a good thing to get you right into it,” Croft said.

Hendricken faces a tough schedule this season, not only taking on the top local teams, but also facing a few out of state teams including Massachusetts powerhouse Catholic Memorial.

“In my opinion, it’s the toughest schedule that we’ve ever had,” said Croft. “Facing Catholic Memorial out of Boston then a host of tough Rhode Island teams. It’s going to be a challenge. You just have to get better each week and hopefully by the end of the year, we are where we need to be.”

Health will be the biggest factor, according to Croft.

“We’ve got to come out healthy this week,” said Croft. “Bodies are going to start breaking down, every team will sustain injuries. It’s going to be about weathering the storm early.”

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