Horace Hawks start football program with a ‘blank canvas’

Ahead of its first season, the Hawks are holding a three-week long summer camp to begin building the team.

WEST FARGO, N.D. — Harvey McMahon has the opportunity that many head football coaches don’t get to experience.

The chance to build a program from the ground up.

“There is going to be lots of challenges,” said McMahon. “Whether it is equipment or scheduling,  there is so many outside things that are going to present themselves as challenges, but that’s why I love the game of football; you just break it down to working hard and having fun.”

McMahon brings the experience to lead things at the newly formed Horace High School.

He has been a coach for five years and spent the last three as the defensive coordinator at Fargo South High School.

While there is a lot that goes into to getting his team started, the most important task at hand is building a roster and getting those players to buy in.

“It is just about finding fields, finding equipment, recruiting players and getting our name out there,” said McMahon. “That is the biggest thing.  I am more concerned about getting our brand out there and getting the kids excited to play for the Horace Hawks.”

For three weeks during the month of July, the Hawks are holding summer camp to get a jump start on the season and get the team used to playing together.

“We are doing a lot of good football drills and building camaraderie, and we are going to work on doing a little bit of install because in a sense, we are behind in finding our identity,” said McMahon.

This season, Horace High will have a team made up of just 9th graders. They will compete against other freshman teams in the area, mainly seeing competition from the Eastern Dakota Conference.

The Hawks expect to have 14 players to fill the roster come August 10th, when Horace takes the field for its first official high school practice.

It may be a small group, but it’s also a special one. It’s full of the players who will be starting a new legacy and setting the tone for Hawks football.

“We get to set the culture for the school,” said McMahon. “At the end of the day, you are all going to be record holders. You’re the first record holders. It is going to be a long process until we get a varsity team fielded, but the work they put in now, they are going to see those benefits two to three years down the road.”

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