The Hanahan High School football team used last month to begin a rebuild for the 2019 campaign.
In 2018, a senior-laden group guided the Hawks into the third round of the Class 3A playoffs for first-year coach David Morbitzer.
Hanahan has to replace starters at 16 positions on offense and defense from a squad that won a region crown and advanced past the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
The eight wins were one more than the previous two seasons combined. Morbitzer’s first set of Hawks set the bar higher for the group following them.
“This is going to be a whole new team,” Morbitzer said. “I do think the kids are in there to work. They have a good work ethic. We’re going to do the best we can.”
The 2019 Hawks will build around veteran quarterback Mac Blakeney.
The Hawks were run heavy last year but could be trying to throw it more this fall. Blakeney threw it well in the spring.
“It’s really nice to see how much he’s progressed,” Morbitzer said. “Mac has always been a football savvy guy. He’s got a strong arm. We installed some new offensive plays because of our quarterback situation. That was a big point of emphasis.”
Offensive linemen Andrew Stewart and Alex Herriott are also returning starters on that side of the ball.
On defense, the front figures to be a strength. Noseguard Tyree Drayton and end Kai Buffalo are back, along with cornerback Braelyn Smith.
The Hawks found some solid starters in the spring and will continue to develop them in the weight room and 7 on 7’s this summer. It’s likely the Hawks will have some two-way starters when the season dawns in August.
“We got a good bit of the spots filled but we’re going to have some guys that are going to have to play both ways,” Morbitzer said. “It’s a matter of who is going to play where.”
The Hawks will compete in the next two 7 on 7’s at Cane Bay on June 13 and June 20 and may have something at Goose Creek High School in July.