The Silver Creek High School football team is looking for a little respect.
After a recent practice, several of the Dragon football players said it seems as if they play on the other team’s senior night just about every Friday. Well, not quite.
The Dragons, entering just their fourth full season, are coming off a 4-7 season. The four wins, though, are the most since Silver Creek reinstated its football program.
Jason Hawkins, one of several new head coaches around Southern Indiana, hopes to help the Dragons find that respect. He comes to Silver Creek from Charlestown, where to led the Pirates to a 60-20 record in seven seasons. At Charlestown, he won four Mid-Southern titles and a sectional title in 2012.
“Right now, nobody respects us — nobody,” Hawkins said. “We’re out here for one reason. We want to get respect.”
Hawkins said the respect will come with winning.
“We want to get to the top,” Hawkins said. “When we get to the top, we aren’t leaving. … Right now, we’re climbing the mountain. I don’t know how long it will take but we’re going to get there. When we get there, we’re going to stay for awhile.”
Hawkins said the Dragons should be competitive right away. “I have high expectations,” he said.
Since he’s been with his new team, Hawkins said he’s been impressed with the players. He said the Dragons came to him with a great attitude, ready to learn. “They want to do well,” he said. “They want to play well. We have smart kids and they’re hungry.”
The Dragons have several solid seniors, including quarterback Jake Meadors, Jason Jent (RB/LB), Kaleb Prince (TE/LB), Evan Cunliffe (OL/DL), Spencer Harris (OL/DL), Cameron Cook (WR/DB) and Jordan Betts (WR, DB).
“We have good football players who are seniors,” Hawkins said. “We’re ahead of schedule of where I thought we would be. I expect us to do well. I expect us to play at a high level. We’re done a great job the last two months to improve ourselves and be competitive.”
In Hawkins’ no-huddle, hurry-up offense, all eyes will be on the quarterback, and Hawkins said he believes he’ll have a good one in Meadors (6-0, 175), whom Hawkins said has a solid arm. “He can wing it,” he said.
Meadors said the new coaching staff just wants the offense to be consistent. “They want us to be really disciplined on offense.”
“I’m harder on the quarterback than I am on anyone else in the program,” Hawkins said. “He’s come to the realization that I will stay on him until he’s perfect. He has an opportunity to be very good and I want him to be perfect.”
Some of Meadors’ top targets should include Cook (6-2, 170), an athletic senior wide receiver, wide receiver Betts (6-1, 180), tight end Prince (5-9, 180) and running back Jent (5-11, 225).
On defense, Hawkins said the strength of the team should be at linebacker, a position that will be coached by his father, Dennis Hawkins, longtime coach at Clarksville who comes out of retirement.
The Dragons have two solid inside linebackers and Prince and Spencer Harris. “I’ll put our inside linebacker up against anybody’s,” Hawkins said.
Jason Hawkins said it’s been a treat to watch his father fall right back into a coaching mode. “It’s going good,” the younger Hawkins said. “He’s filled a void he’s missed the last five or six years. He’s fallen right back into his old routine.”
The Dragons open with a home game against Springs Valley. “We have one goal and that is to win week one,” Hawkins said. “After that, we’re talk about week two.”