HS Football Preview: Riverhawks focus on outhitting and out hustling the competition

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(ABC 6 News) – It’s a new name, but the same team. The now-Mason City Riverhawks football squad is more than willing to take on the new moniker as they look to a brand-new season.

A fresh slate might be what the Riverhawks need. After a subpar 4-5 campaign last season, they’re ready to rebound.

"I think it’s a new start. I mean we haven’t always been the best, we haven’t always had guys coming out. I think this could be a new start. All of it is just a fresh new start for us to be our best," Riverhawks Quarterback Kale Hobart said.

Hobart accepts his position as a team leader easily. After more than 1,500 yards passing and 12 touchdowns a year ago, he’s got a lot more he wants to prove in his final year.

"Yeah, I definitely spent a bunch of time in the weight room. I love the weight room, and then also spending all the time on the football field out here after we had the weight room," Hobart said.

The Riverhawks as a whole will need to be competitive in several ways, especially after losing multiple seniors on defense. The biggest gap left by Branson Peters, who dropped an astounding 93 tackles a year ago.

"Logan Eide was a sophomore last year, and he’s a returning guy in the top ten for tackles for a loss. When you miss that one star like Branson Peters, what you need is three or four guys to step up. He’s a once in every 15 years kind of guy for us," Riverhawks head football coach John Lee said.

With grudge matches against Spencer as well as historic rival Fort Dodge on their schedule, it simply comes down to the same grit and determination that signifies Mason City football’s goals and standards. No matter the new players or new name.

"We compete as kids from Mason City. I’ve told people, I don’t care what you call us, Mohawks, Riverhawks or something else. The fact is we represent the city of Mason City. We try to outhit and out hustle our opponents. Obviously, I’m proud of the Riverhawks, River City and Mohawks, kind of combination of a lot of things. And what it does is represent us," Lee said.

The Riverhawks begin their season with a scrimmage against forest city, before the official season opener against Fort Dodge. As Coach Lee stated, one of the biggest rivalries in Iowa, and it’s one that Riverhawks fans will no doubt be looking forward to as the new season begins.