Hawks hit the field for spring football practice

HARLINGEN — With only a handful of teams starting their spring football festivities, Harlingen South’s got into full swing this week.

The Hawks, under second-year head coach Brian Ricci, are looking to clinch a postseaon berth for the first time since the 2013 season.

“The kids had a great offseason and they’re excited to be out here and play some football,” said Ricci.

Harlingen South is set to return four starters offensively and five starters on the defensive side of the ball. The Hawks finished the 2016 season 5-5overall and 2-5 in District 32-6A.

“We lost a lot of seniors, but we do have guys with some experience who are ready to step in. We will still be young, but our guys are up for the challenge,” Ricci said.

At this time last year, the Hawks were getting acclimated with their new coach and his new system. This season, however, both Ricci and the Hawks have a hit the ground running with a year of Ricci’s system under their belts.

“At this time last year, we were starting from scratch,” said Ricci. “We’re way ahead of where we were last year and that’s great. This time around we’re just refreshing and looking to add some things.”

With the daunting 32-6A schedule and multiple positions open for completion, the Hawks will have their work cut out for themselves.

“We set some goals coming into spring ball. What we’re trying to accomplish is giving every kid an opportunity to show us what he can do,” said Ricci. “There is no set depth chart so we’re using this as an evaluation period.”

Harlingen South will kick off the 2017 season Sept. 1 at McAllen High.