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Preview: Royals Football clash with Apple Valley in 2019 season opener

August 29, 2019

Though the school year is still about a week away from starting at Hopkins High School, the Royals football team will kick off the 2019 season Thursday night on the road against the Apple Valley Eagles.

In 2018, the Royals finished their regular season with a .500 record of 4-4, a significant improvement compared to a lackluster 1-7 campaign in 2017. One of those four wins last season came in a similar predicament of Thursday night’s matchup: a season-starting victory over Apple Valley.

Jimmy Murphy, senior tight end/defensive lineman, says that a repeat of that result would be a crucial tone-setter for the remainder of the season.

“We’ve put in so much work since the beginning of the summer and we just want to put it all together right away to show that Hopkins is here,” said Murphy. “People want to write us off and say that we’re going to finish second to last in our conference and we lost a bunch of talent, but we want to prove that we are still here.”

While the Royals have lost a couple of notable studs this season such as leading rusher Jadon Washington and QB1 James Klecker, the caste of talent replacing them are ready to grab the brass ring and compete for a state championship ring in the process.

On offense, senior quarterback Noah Kim will get the opportunity to start after being relegated to backup duties in years past. Surrounding him are a bunch of high-caliber weapons including the talented wideout tandem of BJ Murff and Ty Bennett that will have opposing defenses quaking in their cleats.

“That group is really experienced and really talented so they know how to handle the moment and I know that they have my back out on the field,” said Kim.

The defensive side of the ball features one of the most exciting underclass prospects in the state of Minnesota in the form of junior linebacker RJ Chakolis. During his sophomore campaign, Chakolis collected an impressive 101 tackles, which tied him for sixth in the state in that stat.

The Royals have had since November to put together the winning formula under the tutelage of head coach John DenHartog. On Thursday, they will test it out.

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