NEWS | Aug. 18, 2010

Ro-Hawks look forward to a strong season

By Brian McGloin 502nd Airbase Wing Public Affairs Operating Location B

"I want to know why he didn't run me over," the coach said during practice about a player who bumped into him on the field.

The players were separated on the field with the varsity players in the center and the junior varsity players in the southern end. Pete Wesp, the head coach for the Ro-Hawks, the Randolph High School football team as well athletic director for the Randolph Independent School District, was in the middle of the action.

The Ro-Hawks have been practicing for three weeks now, and hopefully they will see thr fruits of their labor.

"We have a huge winning tradition," he said. "Not just in football."

Last year the football team had many of its players on the sidelines for injuries or illness - an H1N1 outbreak took some of the blame for that. The season began with two defensive starters and three offensive starters, the rest of the team's ranks being filled by underclassmen and lesser-experienced players.

"God decided we need a trial," Mr. Wesp said about last year's losing season, which was only the fourth since 1962.

This year is a little different since the Ro-Hawks have more returning starting players. They have eight offensive returning starters and seven returning defensive starters this year, making it a more experienced starting lineup.

"As long as we don't have any injuries, we'll do well," he said.

Mr. Wesp said although he has high hopes for a winning season, the team always has areas for improvement and no game or season is ever perfect.

On the field during practice, it's not unusual to see the coach standing facing the helmeted players running toward him during mock plays. He gives quiet advice to some players while barking orders at others.

"We hope every week to improve," he said." We want to look back and think we were awful."

Mr. Wesp said the military members living off base have a choice to send their children to Randolph schools or to local public schools in their school districts. Although the school is small, its students have a high standard of excellence in sports and won many records over the years in track and field, soccer, basketball, football.

"Our expectations are always high," Mr. Wesp said.

The season kicks off Aug. 27 with an away game against San Antonio Catholic.