When faced with a challenge, the Hammond Skyhawks are ready to step up to the task.
This season, the Skyhawks face a tough schedule without the benefit of two team leaders from previous seasons — running backs BJ Bennett and Joey DeAngelis.
“Our standard of excellence doesn’t change, but the pursuit of that is a very dynamic thing,” coach Erik Kimrey said.
This season, Kimrey said, the character and intellect of the Hammond squad makes them well-equipped to face their obstacles.
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“You can’t really replace a BJ Bennett,” Kimrey said.
“It’s a tough task to ask somebody to match what those guys did, because it was so much, but having the nucleus of team back certainly helps bear that load,” he said. “Instead of one guy looking to make up those contributions, it’s ‘we’ have to make up what we lost.”
Led by Jake Nidiffer in his second-year at quarterback, the Skyhawks return a strong offense. “Jake certainly has matured, and now there’s an air about him of familiarity and confidence,” Kimrey said.
In front of Nidiffer is an experienced offensive line, led by center Roo Daniels.
Also returning on the line are Pat Kneece Cam Smith and Doak Fisher.
Quayshon Myers, who was a big contributer in last season’s SCISA Class 3A championship game, is back at wide receiver as well as defensive back.
The defense also returns Braden Shockley at defensive back and Ronald Brown on the line, among other key starters.