Week 1 Football Preview: South Hamilton vs. Roland-Story

The South Hamilton Hawks come into the 2021 season looking to maintain the excellence they have made on the gridiron, and will look to start the season with a big win over their longtime rivals, the Roland-Story Norsemen. South Hamilton holds a 6-4 lead in the series since 2008, but Roland-Story holds the all-time mark at 28-20, dating back to 1970. South Hamilton won last year’s meeting by a final of 42-8, against a Norsemen team that didn’t win a game in 2020. Roland-Story’s last win in the series came in 2016, by a final score of 37-7.

The Hawks come into this Week 1 matchup looking to carve their own identity in 2021, after graduating a wildly successful senior class. This group of seniors, led by Austin Busch, Tycin Barkema and Elijah Balderas, among others, has the talent to yet again compete for a district title. Sophomore Tjerdan Johnson is likely to take the reins from Freddie Lewis at quarterback, setting up South Hamilton with a young signal caller. The Hawks offensive line, anchored by senior tackle Brent Greenfield and junior guard Carter Balvanz, will look to lead a unit that punishes defensive lines.

The Roland-Story Norsemen come into Week One with heads and hopes held high for a major jump from year one to year two under head coach Matt Finn. The Norsemen found their quarterback for the future halfway through the 2020 season in then-junior Quin Ante. Ante, now a senior, will have some serious weapons to throw to in the Norsemen’s spread offense, with receivers Luke Patton, Carter Flattebo and Will Bunn. Roland-Story is looking to replace running backs Zach Twedt and Caden Sporleder.

South Hamilton and Roland-Story will kickoff at 7 PM at Taylor Field in Jewell.