The 2012 season will be the 30th as co-head coaches for Steve Diediker and Bruce Held. Held is the team's offensive coordinator and Diediker is the defensive coordinator.
Coach Held and the Blackhawks are excited by the returning talent this season.
"You can see that we have a good nucleus to build around this fall," Held said. "After a very disappointing 2-7 season and missing the playoffs for the first time in the last five years, we have an attitude about our program that is looking for redemption. Hinton football will rise again, and this team can be the ones to do it."
Senior and college prospect Austin Anfinson (6-2, 270) returns to anchor the offensive and defensive lines. The Blackhawks return plenty of size and depth on the lines with senior Avery Peirce (6-1, 220), junior Mitchell Hoefling (6-2, 265) and senior Evan Kroll (6-3, 210).
Senior Morgan Wenzel (6-1, 175) returns under center. Held lauds Wenzel's "uncanny ability to extend plays." He finished 2011 53-of-130 passing (40.8 percent) for 794 yards and six touchdowns with six interceptions.
"Our offensive line returns almost in tact, and they are big, strong, and experienced," Held said. "That always is a great thing to build your team around. Our QB is returning, after throwing for almost 800 yards. He will be a huge factor in our success, and we have a good back-up in case he goes down. Our running backs are tough kids who can not only run, but catch the ball, and we have depth there.
Leading that receiving corps is senior Jason Vander Kooi (6-4, 175). Vander Kooi could improve on his 14 receptions for 270 yards and two touchdowns a year ago. Senior Dalton Becker (5-10, 150) can catch passes coming out of the backfield as well.
"On defense, we return basically the entire unit," Held said. "Experience is key when reading offenses, and we have that."
Senior Marcus Turman (6-0, 165) led the balanced Blackhawks' defense in tackles a season ago with 51. Anfinson and Becker finished with 47 and 46, respectively.
Senior Colin Poss (5-10, 165) had 45 tackles in 2011, Vander Kooi finished with 42 and Peirce had 41.
Vander Kooi had four interceptions last fall and Becker picked off three passes.
Hinton opens the season on Saturday, Aug. 25 in the CNOS Football Classic against Gehlen Cathlic. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Olsen Stadium at Morningside College in Sioux City. The Blackhawks face South O'Brien in week two before opening up district play against West Lyon in Week 3.
"We really like our team, and expect to surprise a lot of people this year," Held said. "We have a very difficult district and we play seven teams who were in the playoffs last year. It will not be easy, but we expect to contend for the district title."
|Aug. 25||Gehlen Catholic (4 p.m.)|
Olsen Stadium, Morningside College
|Aug. 31||at South O'Brien|
|Sept. 7||at West Lyon|
|Sept. 21||at Woodbury Central|
|Sept. 28||at West Sioux|
|Oct. 19||at Lawton-Bronson|