HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) — The Hays Indians are replacing a lot of senior talent this year, including former quarterback and current Division I linebacker at Oklahoma, Jaren Kanak.

“I think we’ve got different energy than in years past,” said Senior Linebacker Evan Lind. “A little more fight. The senior class is really close. I’ve played with all of these guys since third or fourth grade. It’s been great.”

Head Coach Tony Crough and his squad are looking to replicate last year’s success.

“We’ve got a lot of guys on the field for the first time,” Crough explained. “Both seniors and some juniors that were just playing behind some guys that were really good and two or three-year starters. I think it’s about guys learning their roles, accepting their roles, and find some leadership.”

Last season, Hays finished with an 8-3 record, and two of those losses were against 6A schools. They also were able to make it three rounds deep in the 5A playoffs.

Crough said he believes in this year’s crop of players, “It’s a group of kids that has really been a big part of what we’ve been about the last couple of years. We feel really good with where we’re at. Obviously, we lost some big pieces. But, we’ve got a lot of those pieces back, and we feel like we have as much depth as we have in a long time.”

While the team may look different this season, the expectations have not changed from either coach Crough or his players.

Senior Quarterback Kyreese Groen added, “Just bringing the intensity, keeping the energy, and when we step out on the field, we have to give it 110. It’s our last year.”