Holley Hawks begin new 8 man football era

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 23 August 2018 at 12:36 pm

Photos by Mike Wertman – Holley backs run through a play with head Coach Wil Prince looking on during the Hawks first practice session as an 8 man varsity football team this morning.

With the start of practice this morning, Holley began its new era of 8 man varsity football competition.

“We’re excited,” said Coach Wil Prince whose Hawks have switched from 11 to 8 man football because of low participation members. “It’s a whole different ball game. It will be a learning process for everyone but the kids have really showed a lot of interest and are excited to get going.”

Seven players with varsity experience will anchor the Hawks lineup. That group includes senior linemen Hunter McClean and Matt Hahn, sophomore tailback Jacob Affronti, senior fullback Dalton Moyer, junior wide receiver Jamel Hildreth, senior linebacker Zach VanAmeron and junior quarterback Cody Tanis. Another veteran lineman, junior Jacob Norman, is out with an injury.

Holley’s six game schedule will include home and home meetings with the other three Section V schools which have switched to 8 man football this year including Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, CG Finney and Marcus Whitman. The Hawks opener will be at home against Marcus Whitman on September 15.

“The football program is continuing and that is exciting,” said Prince. “And we’re getting great support.”

The Hawks graduation losses included quarterback Jeremy Mallett, running back/receivers Camron Labarge and Ryan Andrews and linemen Glenn Thrower and Brandon Dillenbeck.

Holley went 2-3 in Genesee Region League and 4-5 overall last fall in the Hawks final season of 11 man football.

Interestingly, the Hawks switch to 8 man football is in a way going back to the school’s first football competition as the Hawks competed in 6 man football from 1948 to 1955.

September: 15 – Marcus Whitman, 1:30 pm.; 22 – at CG Finney, 4 p.m.; 29 – Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, 1:30 p.m.
October: 5 – at Marcus Whitman, 7 p.m.; 13 – CG Finney, 1:30 p.m.; 19 – at Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, 7 p.m.

The Hawks veteran contingent includes, in front, Zach VanAmeron, Dalton Moyer and Jamel Hildreth. In back are Cody Tanis, Hunter McClean, Jacob Affronti and Matt Hahn.