Hardin Football making a leap in 2019
The Hardin Hornets are lurking in District 12-3A as a legitimate team to challenge Buna and East Chambers. For the first time since 2008, Hardin returned to the playoffs last season and head coach Larry Haynes sees nothing but potential leading into the fall season.
"Anytime you win it brings out the kids," said Haynes, entering his third season with the Hawks after a separate five year run from 2007-2011.
"The enthusiasm is back and they are recruiting more kids to come out."
The Hornets finished 7-4 last year that included a first round loss to Franklin 45-0 but the Hawks brings back eight total starters with junior TE Trenton Dickey leading the way. Dickey returns as a first team all district tight end and will be a force on both sides of the ball.
"Trenton Dickey maybe the best blocking tight end in southeast Texas," said Haynes.
"He's going to do a super job for us."
Other offensive weapons for the Hornets will be their massive front line that includes Paul Thonsgaard, Shane Holst, and Will Barrett.
"Our center Holst is 250-260 (pounds), our mainstay is Thonsgaard," said Haynes, "He lettered as a freshman and a sophomore, he's the leader of the team. Barrett comes back and is the only senior on the line for us, he comes in at 270."
There's no rest at the 3A level as great athletes always play both ways so the lineman will anchor the 3-4 defense with all-district cornerback Austin Potetz (2021) leading the secondary.
"Trenton (Dickey) will be the force on defense," said Haynes.
"He's 6'2" 225, runs well and is a good player for us. Thonsgaard will be all over the line, we'll have him at nose guard, defensive end, he's going to be a force on defense."
The most important two weeks of the season will come down to the final fortnight with Hardin hosting Buna (11/1) and defending champion Woodville (11/8). A sweep could bring Hardin their first district title since 1974 when a Ford was president and trump was a playing card.
PODCAST with Larry Haynes of Hardin Hornets