On a sunny, steamy Saturday afternoon in Hamburg, New York, the Hawks were ready to fly inside the locker room singing and chanting prior to stepping onto the field to open the first football season in school history against a talented Dennison University team.
Head Coach Jim Kubiak said he was very happy with the enthusiasm his players showed after a long training camp.
“Well, we were very excited, our guys were excited. I think our coaching staff was excited, we had a lot of people out here supporting us,” Kubiak said. “It was great to get out here for the very first time and put the blue jerseys on.”
The heat didn’t stop Hawks fans from coming out in full force to support their team. The environment was electric as fans showed their excitement throughout the duration of the game with loud cheering and pride. Unfortunately, the Hawks couldn’t get it done on their home turf, losing their first game 63-0.
“The largest room in the world is the room for improvement,” said Kubiak. “The speed of the game is very different. Dennison’s a really good football team. They’re well coached, disciplined, physical, older and so as we move forward it’s about trying to get a little bit better with our personnel groupings. We committed some penalties in key situations. It’s a discipline thing, not a physical thing, and that’s what we’re going to be working on.”
Although the score may not have been what the Hawks hoped for, there was a lot to be proud of. The Hawks established many firsts on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Offensively Wide Receiver Andre Augustiniak carried the ball for a 5-yard run for the first play in program history. Quarterback Jeremiah Caviness completed the first pass in Hilbert history to Joseph Stover for 25 yards, which was the longest play of the game for Hilbert. On the defensive side, defensive lineman Jeremiah Sanders made the first tackle for the Hawks.
“We had guys that were trying very hard, “said Kubiak. “There was a lot of great effort and that’s where it starts. If we can get ourselves adjusted, and some of the operational stuff that we need to improve on, we can take another big step. I think we have a team that wants to win, a team that’s hungry, and wants to work, so we’re going to get back to it.”
The Hawks look to turn it around at 12 p.m. on Saturday at home against Willamette University.