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Bozeman duo Kellen Harrison, Rocky Lencioni and their journey to leading undefeated Hawks

Rocky Lencioni and Kellen Harrison Hawk Football
Posted at 2:49 PM, Oct 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-11 18:44:18-04

BOZEMAN — The No. 1 Bozeman Hawks (7-0) are sitting atop Class AA as the only undefeated team remaining, and they're looking to continue that success right into the end of the regular season and playoffs.

Quarterback Kellen Harrison and wide receiver Rocky Lencioni have had a large part in this year’s success for the Hawks.

Their talent and connection is on display every Friday — something that started on the basketball court in grade school and now dominates the field at Van Winkle Stadium.

"We’ve always had a connection. He’s always looking for me on the basketball court, and I’m always looking for him on the football field," Harrison said. "Playing multiple sports together, I just rely on him so much to make big plays and he makes them."

Making big plays — it's what Lencioni does. He thrives under pressure and is driven to come up big for his teammates.

"At the end of the day, the team needs me to make plays and just do my job like anybody else," Leniconi said.

This is Harrison's first year as the starting quarterback on varsity, but his field IQ and play-making ability seem as seasoned as someone who has been in his position for years.

"I think that sums up Kellen to a tee," Hawks coach Levi Wesche said. "He’s a great leader and when the lights shine the brightest, he steps up and owns the moment. Huge part of why we got to where we were there."

Lenioni noted how one of Harrison's greatest qualities at quarterback is the fact that he's a dual threat.

"He’s just been perfect everywhere," Lencioni said. "He makes my job really easy. He puts the ball where he needs to be, but he’s also really good on his feet. It seems like no one can tackle him."

Harrison’s and Lencioni’s ability to work with each other so smoothly during games also stems from sharing the secondary together.

As two defensive backs for the Hawks the past two years, they have been able to build their communication and connection as teammates.

"It’s really strong," Harrison said. "We were able to build our communication. We’ve been doing it for a couple years, and I think it’s kind of helped us build our relationship on offense, too."

The two bring different personalities to the team, but they share the qualities of being present and setting an example for their teammates in everything they do.

"It’s one thing to be present on game day," Wesche said. "It’s easy to be there mentally on game day. It’s a little bit harder during practice, walk-through and team meetings, but they're very present in those as well. They’re not taking anything for granted. They’re trying to maximize everything."

The journey has led them to this moment, on the cusp of what could be a perfect season. As seniors and captains, this season has meant the most to them.

"Just trying to live in the moment," Leniconi said. "We only have five to six weeks left if we get to where we want to go, so we’re just trying to enjoy each other, enjoy the time we have and make the best of it because it won’t last."

“This is your last ride with your brothers on the team, and knowing it’s your last ride makes everything a little bit more meaningful," Harrison said.

The No. 1 Hawks are at Belgrade on Friday at 7 p.m.