Hornets still have sting

After a few lean years, the Blackwell football program has produced back-to-back playoff appearances and in 2013, the Hornets got their first postseason win since 1996 before falling to the eventual state champions — Grandfalls-Royalty — in the second round.Quite a bit of talent is now gone, but Blackwell coach Clint Lowry still returns a pair of all-region players in Wade Allen (kicker and tight end) and Franck Cano (defensive line and special teams), along with an all-district lineman in Matthew Meyer. And while they’re the only returning starters, Blackwell has more depth than it had last year plus some decent size. “We’re fortunate we can move kids and rest some kids,” said Lowry, who will carry 13 of his 20 players on the varsity. “We can use our depth to our advantage and not really miss a beat.”Matthew Meyer (offensive and defensive line) and Franck Cano (defensive end and tailback) are likely two-way starters. Cano’s brother Charlie (linebacker) and Matthew’s brother Riley (noseguard) are projected defensive starters. The other offensive starters will be Doug Hardy at center, Allen at end, Cole Alley at quarterback and Bennie Wester or Bob Davis at fullback. The other possible defensive starters are Harrison Gott and Chase Wynne at end and Wester, Chris Sorrells, Davis and Mathew Jeter at cornerback. Charlie Cano and Jeter will also see plenty of action on the offensive side of the ball.The Hornets’ recent suc-cess should have a positive carryover effect, especially with eight seniors on the roster — Allen, Franck Cano, Wester, Jeter, Matthew and Riley Meyer, Davis and Gott. “These guys have played together as a group for a long time and they know what’s expected of them,” said Lowry. “I think they feel more comfortable now, and they’re excited about this season. I think they want to be the group that goes even further than last year’s team.”