‘They deserve this moment, they’ve worked hard for it.’ Horace Hawks prepare for first varsity season

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - For the first time in school history, the varsity shades of black and gold helmets will paint the turf of Horace High School Stadium.

And for head coach Harvey McMahon, who has patiently waited three long years for this moment.

“The word that comes to mind is joy.” McMahon said about their upcoming season. “The stuff we’ve been through the last two years, you get ‘em out here and you’re running Varsity, JV, Freshmen, you’re running a full football program and there’s just a lot of joy to have with it. We’re just starting. The work’s just starting, so there’s a lot of joy but there’s a lot of urgency to work hard.”

And that urgency has extended out to the players too, nearly all underclassmen with a few juniors, and no seniors. Coach McMahon says he tries to instill this fire in all his players.

“It’s kind of fun because you get to set the tone for the program to be what it’s going to be in the future.” said Running back Charlie Leshovsky, “They’ve treated us like a varsity team ever since our first year, so it’s finally fun to be finally at the top.”

Coach mcmahon knows his way around the Gridiron, coaching at Fargo South High School for three years before his Horace stint, and earning three all-conference honors as a defensive lineman for valley city state university.

“You can just tell he wants us to be great right away.” Leshovsky said. “Because the way he’s treated us since the start - he came from a varsity program and he’s treated us like one since day one.”

Coach McMahon has been at the helm in the last two seasons at Horace, the first the cancelled COVID year, and the second still below the varsity level. So for all these young ballplayers, this is their first real shot at big league high school ball.

“I’ve been wanting to play varsity sports since I’ve been like 10 years old. I just love football and just happy to be out here.” said Quarterback Axel Anderson.

This passion and drive is what coach believes can separate his brigade from the daunting task of a full varsity schedule.

“I’m gonna tell them I’m proud of them.” McMahon said. “They deserve this moment; they’ve worked hard for it. And, empty the tank. Don’t sell yourself short and play reserved. You go out there and leave everything you got because dang it you’ve earned it. We’re gonna face a lot of adversity this year, but it’s not enough adversity we haven’t already faced these last two years starting a program in the middle of a pandemic. So if we stay together, we’ll be fine.”

The Hawks will be getting right into conference action for their first game of the year. They open the season on August 19th in Fargo against the Fargo North Spartans.

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