wide receivers Joseph Branch (left) and Jalen Hall (right) during practice. (Amanda Scurlock/ L.A. Sentinel)
wide receivers Joseph Branch (left) and Jalen Hall (right) during practice. (Amanda Scurlock/ L.A. Sentinel)

The Augustus Hawkins Hawks football team is ranked 18th in the state, the team is an assemblage of four-star talent that has overwhelmed teams week after week.

Hawkins has a 5-0 start, the best out of any team in the Coliseum league this season so far.

“In my wildest dreams, I didn’t expect to win the games the way we did,” said head coach Mil’Von James.

Players noted how the team is more disciplined than last season, their restraint and dedication has been a component to their winning streak.

“We say that [if] we work harder in practice, it’s going to be easier in the game,” said sophomore tight end Keith Conley. “So we just work harder in practice.”

The Hawks had their first challenge on September 16 in their game against the Mater Dei Crusaders. At the start of the game, Mater Dei scored a touchdown with a kickoff return. The Crusaders earned 14 points within two minutes.

“Then our defense started picking up, stopping the run, shutting down the passes,” said senior outside linebacker Justin Wafer.

Sophomore DeGabriel Floyd was assigned to play defensive end during that game.

“They ran a lot of pull and guard plays,” Floyd said. “I just tried my best to take on the block so that my outside [and] inside linebacker can come up and fill the hole and try and make a tackle.”

Despite losing their grip on the game, the Hawks bested Mater Dei 51-42.

“I can’t say we completely stopped their running game,” James said. “We contained it when it mattered. I couldn’t be more proud of my players and my coaches.”

Colleges throughout the country have shown interest in the Hawks.

Hall has received offers from schools from several conferences including the Pac-12, SEC, and Big 12. He comes in fourth place overall and is the top wide receiver in the ESPN Jr 300 2018 class. Other teams struggle covering Hall’s 6-3 frame and cannot stop him once he gains possession of the ball.

Sophomore DeGabriel Floyd (Amanda Scurlock/ L.A. Sentinel)
Sophomore DeGabriel Floyd (Amanda Scurlock/ L.A. Sentinel)

“It’s just a fun position,” Hall said. “Just being able to catch the ball and embarrass somebody, which is something I can really do because I have the size for it.

Wafer is new talent on the team. He transferred from Valencia High School and recently committed to attend Fresno State, according to ESPN.

“I love to make tackles,” Wafer said. “[I] love to stop the run.”

Last season, the Hawks only suffered a loss to Crenshaw High School and a tie with Los Angeles High School. However, the Hawks are using their experience of past triumphs and trials to reach their current goals.

“Our team is poised to make a great run this year based on all the work we put in last year,” James said.