KEARNEY, NE — The Kearney Catholic football team is sporting new faces on top of its depth chart and new opponents on its schedule.

Head Coach Rashawn Harvey says the new-look Stars return starters at just three positions following last season’s undefeated regular season campaign.

“Especially on the offensive and defensive lines, we’ve got busy that need to step up,” Harvey said. “We got some guys that are talented but they just don’t have a lot of experience.”

Senior lineman Quinten Hogeland is among the new faces.

“Yeah I think there’s obviously some expectations to live up to," Hogeland said. "But it’s going to be different this year, going down to C-2, different competition, different teams we haven’t played but I’m ready for it.”

That’s right, the 2021 Class C-1 semifinalists slid down a class. Senior lineman Grant Drumheller says the team looks at it as a positive.

“I think we’re definitely excited to play some new opponents," Drumheller said. "We’ll miss some old rivalries like Ogallala and Adams Central, but we’re excited to face some new opponents.”

“It’s still football. It’s still blocking, tackling, catching the ball, taking care of the ball, those things like that," Harvey said. "I think we’ll see more ground game, probably, in C-2. But, you know, we gotta stop it no matter what.”

In an offseason of change, the Stars say they’ve kept a familiar mantra.

“We’ve kind of stuck with that, if we can kind of all play together as a band of brothers, it could get us far,” Hogeland said.

“(We’re all) a band of brothers. We got each other’s backs," Drumheller said. "Going back to the accountability, we just all hold each other to a certain standard.”

Kearney Catholic opens its season at Doniphan-Trumbull on Friday night. You can listen to the game on ESPN Tri-Cities 1460 AM 92.1 FM.