The Bishop Hendricken soccer team will have a new look this fall, as the Hawks graduated a large chunk of its core from last season and are introducing some fresh faces to the mix.
The Hawks qualified for the playoffs last season but came up short in the prelims against Barrington. This year, the Hawks will be focusing on rebuilding its roster and assembling a new system to get the most out of its newcomers.
“There are going to be whole new faces on the team this year, new positions, and trying to play a system that works for them. This is definitely a rebuilding year, that’s the plan because what we lost were real integral parts of our program over the past couple of years. It’s now going to be about the kids learning how to play with each other and they’re going to have to do it quickly,” said Hendricken coach Mickey Rooney.
The Hawks will be relying heavily on their three captains to help steer the ship and catch the youngsters up to speed.
“We’ve got captains Mike Hanlon, AJ Guindon, and Colby Cuthill, those three will be very big players for us and we’re going to build the team around them. They’re getting their feet wet right now, and you have to be careful because although they know that the team is being built around them, they need to know that they have support with them and they need that support to play well,” said Rooney.
Considering the roster turnover and new look, the Hawks enter the season without a bona fide star on the roster. Although Hendricken may not be the dominant force that the state is used to seeing, Rooney believes that the club can still be competitive and efficient if it puts its best foot forward and focuses on the details.
“This is one of those teams that we will not blow teams away, but we will need to play together as a team, keep our shape and we’re going to have to do all the basic fundamentals. If we do that, we’ll be OK, if not, we could be in for a long season. You need to have tactics to go along with skills. It will be up to me to find a system that hides their weaknesses while (highlighting) their strengths, and if we can do that, then things should go our way,” said Rooney, who also expects to see the club grow throughout the season. “We are notoriously slow starters and this year we are even a little further behind than usual. We may struggle early on, but once we learn how to play with each other then I think that we will cause a lot of headaches for a lot people.
The Hawks opened their season against Coventry on Wednesday evening, but the results were not available at press time.