Lake Norman & Mooresville

Huskies are excited for beginning of 1st season

Hough's chance to shine under the Friday night lights begins this week.

The Huskies travel south Friday to face the other new high school in the district, Rocky River, in what could be Hough's best chance to win a game this inaugural season.

Excitement around Hough's first-ever game is high - both at the school and throughout the area.

Huskies coach Bobby Collins said he's already feeling the enthusiasm surrounding his program.

"The Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville area has been great," he said. "The community has jumped right on board."

The team has been working out together and spending countless hours trying to not only learn a new system, but also get used to playing alongside players who were once rivals at Hopewell and North Meck.

Collins is happy with the team's progress.

"They're starting to pull together and trust each other," he said. "They know they don't have to be the hero and that they can rely on their teammates to make plays."

Collins, who was the defensive coordinator at Providence Day last year, said he's seen an improvement on his team during the past few months.

"If we keep preparing and practicing, we're going to perform," he said.

The Huskies should be more than ready to finally put on their uniforms and go out to represent the new school.

But Collins admits he can't get a read on whether his players are more excited or nervous about that first game.

Either way, the first-year head coach knows his players will have to let find a way to channel those feelings into preparing for the game.

"I think once we get over to Rocky River, a similar place, a similar stadium, they'll be ready to go," he said.

Collins said he doesn't have any game nerves just yet, but he knows those jitters will come closer to kickoff.

"I don't get mine until about 6:30 Friday nights during pre-game warm-ups," he said. "The hair starts to stand up in the back of your neck and you know it's that time - it's game time."

Hough will have a good matchup with the Ravens, who are also very young.

"The playing field will be leveled with two first-year programs," said Collins.

"The group of guys who want it the most are going to win it."

Collins and his staff scouted the Ravens during one of their scrimmages to get a feel of their system.

Collins is familiar with Rocky River head coach Jason Fowler, who was the offensive coordinator at East Meck while the now Huskies coach served as defensive coordinator at West Meck.

"We've gone up against each other a couple of times, so I know he'll be prepared," said Collins.

At the end of Friday night, one of the two programs will celebrate its first win. Collins and the Huskies hope it's Hough that comes out on top.

"We're just excited about playing," he said.