The Hawks prepare for its first matchup of the season against Kalispell Glacier.

BOZEMAN – The defending state champion Bozeman Hawks open defense of their title on Friday. Because of last week’s forfeit, the Hawks held an intra-squad scrimmage but now it gets real. Kalispell Glacier, one of the best teams in the state, comes to town to see who really is the power in Class AA.

New Bozeman coach Levi Wesche is confident.

“I think we’re all ready,” he said. “We’ve been delayed a week because of the bye and we’re ready to get out there and compete now. I don’t think we’ll really know anything until we step on the field, but I have a real good feeling about this team. They like to compete so, I think that’s all anyone can ask for.”

The Hawks, under new quarterback Callaghan O’Reilly, definitely have some tools.

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“I think we have a lot of speed, and I think our kids are pretty cerebral about the game,” Wesche said. “They understand where they need to be.”

It all happens Friday night, and Wesche’s expectations are natural.

“Very excited,” he said.