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Lake Hamilton looks to take steps in rebuilding season | Preps on 11

Despite losing several defensive starters, the Wolves still are working on putting together a deep run in the Class 6A playoffs.

PEARCY, Ark — Lake Hamilton, a program with consecutive nine-win seasons, is working to replace four starters ahead of the 2023 season.

"Every year, the goal is to win a state championship," Lake Hamilton head coach Tommy Gilleran said. "We're trying to look for that. We're going to try to win one game at a time."

Safety Riley Poole said bringing in the new starters has been a learning experience.

"We had a lot of seniors graduate, so we're trying to move on from that," Poole said. "We're trying to grow, learn and build from that."

However, all-conference quarterback Easton Hurley will be back on the field for the Wolves. He completed 65 of 135 passes last season for 1,354 yards with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Defensively, Lake Hamilton returns only one starter, Josh Brooks. Last year, the Wolves defense gave up three or fewer touchdowns in nine games.

"I think the strong point is our team being all together," tight end Hunter Baber said. "We've been together forever... since we were little."

Lake Hamilton will open the season on Aug. 25 against Hot Springs Lakeside.

"It starts with Lakeside, and they are more improved," Gilleran said. "We've got our hands full next Friday."

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