When we last saw the Hawley Bearcats, they were making the first appearance in school history in the state championship game. They lost that game, but it showed the Bearcats that are coming back this season what they can accomplish, and they want more.

Austin Cumpton said, “We didn’t win state, so, of course, we use it for motivation. We can’t live off the past. We’ve just got to move on. If we can make it happen again, which we are definitely going to do that. We can’t live off the past and have to keep working and moving forward.”

The 2022 Bearcats are loaded with key returners. Fifteen positions are filled with returning starters, and a bunch of players got experience thanks to injuries to other players. The Bearcats are the favorites to win the district championship again this year, but another run to state won’t just be handed to them.

Mitch Ables said, “We always say, ‘Hats off to the past and sleeves up to the future. We are just going try to take it as that was 2021, and this is 2022. It’s a new start.”

Rodey Hooper said, “We can’t just put in the work here. You got to put in the work alone and our workouts. You just got to work harder than the other teams and know you are doing it.”

The lines on offense and defense were key to Hawley’s run to Arlington in 2021, and most of those players are gone. That means new folks are going to have to step up.

Cumpton said, “The line is the most important part of the team. and our line will be a lot bigger this year, not as fast, but I think they’ll really do good this year. I’m ready to see what they are going to do.”

The Bearcats are an area power, and they are becoming a regional and state power. Head coach Mitch Ables is grateful to be a part of the process.

Ables said, “It’s cool. Football is the greatest game on earth, and I get to have a part in it every day of my life. I’m greatful for these kids, and their hard work, and I’m grateful for the game of football, for sure.”

The Bearcats schedule is interesting this season.

They finish the season against Cisco in November.

The season starts on August 26 at home against Jim Ned.