A lack of upperclassmen isn’t giving George Ashman, Hawks’ track and field head coach, any negative thoughts. In fact, the coach is excited about the team’s upcoming season.

“We do not have any senior boys this year as we didn’t have any junior athletes last year,” he said. “But we have a bunch of guys that were varsity last year. So we will have some experience coming back.”

The head coach hopes his athletes’ experience translates on the track, specifically in three different events, which Ashman feels they can make some noise.

“We are always a strong middle distance team,” he said. “We always have solid 200, 400, and 800 runners, that is where we will be the strongest.”

One thing the head coach will spend the early part of the season doing during practices and events is searching for that specific leader, which currently he hasn’t found.

According to Ashman, his roster isn’t conducive to one standout leader, as truth be told he feels that it actually could be multiple athletes.

Whoever ends up carrying that torch will definitely have a shot at showcasing their talents during the final week of April when many schools attempt to make their way to Des Moines for the Drake Relays.

The Drake Relays is a three-day event, April 25-27, that could be considered a precursor to who or what teams will compete at state.

Although it would be an exciting time for Ashman and his squad to be able to compete in the event, the head coach admits it’s not always a guaranteed trip.

“Being a small school the Drake relays are tough to make year in and year out as it is not a classed meet,” he said. “Tough for us to compete with all the big schools. Each year we try and qualify and set our sights more on getting to state.”

Regardless of what happens during this season, whether the team piles up wins or top three finishes, the head coach just wants his team to put forth their best effort.

“A successful season is that we get better each meet and be at our best during district and state time,” Ashman said.

The team has been busy already this season with two meets this past week on April 2 at Panorama and their home opener on April 4. They head to Carroll on Monday, April 8.