After their first year of their return to the South Central Ohio League, the Wilmington Hurricane proved they not only belong in the league, but were one of the more dominant teams in '14, being in a three-way tie for second place.

With a 5-2 record last season in SCOL play and an overall mark of 8-2, WHS was 14th in the Division III, Region 10 computer rankings, with their two losses coming against Clinton-Massie (49-7) and Miami Trace (20-13), as both teams reached the Division IV playoffs.

But with last season in the rearview mirror, the Hurricane are looking to compete for another opportunity to reach the state playoffs, and that began with what second-year head coach Scott Killen described as a "very busy" summer.

"Summer has been very busy, and we have worked very hard," the head coach said. "We have gotten bigger, faster and stronger and have had a great summer in our 7-on-7s.

"Every team is different, so I didn't know what to expect at the beginning of the year. Every day we have had an opportunity to get better, we have, and that is all you can ask for."

With 16 seniors and 18 returning lettermen, the Hurricane will have a team that has not only experience on their side, but a team that can have success once again.

Some players who stand out this summer for Wilmington have been Dylan Beaugard (5-8, 165), Alex Miller, wide receiver Brady McCune (6-1, 165), Connor Barton and Zane Stevens (6-1, 231).

"Dylan has had a tremendous summer and will be a huge part in all three phases, and Alex has really stepped up as the tight end," Killen said. "Brady is going to play a huge part in the season because he can play just about every position.

"Zane and Connor will be the anchors on the offensive line."

Another player back on the roster who will play an important role on the offense is quarterback Matt Creditt (6-1, 180), who finished the '14 season with 2,500 total yards on offense and 31 total touchdowns.

With a lot of talent returning from an eight-win season, it is no secret the Hurricane have very high goals and expectations for 2015.

"Expectations are high, and we will have a great year and keep the momentum going,” Killen said.

That momentum from the '14 season included starting the season with six consecutive wins against Little Miami (49-19), West Carrollton (49-6), Butler (32-28), Hillsboro (44-0), East Clinton (65-20) and Washington (55-7).

Then came the two aforementioned losses to their season, before ending the season with two consecutive wins over McClain (48-7) and Chillicothe (7-3).

With those results, it was a good first season for Killen as a first-time head coach (as he's also a two-time state champion defensive coordinator), but he just wants to keep building the program.

"Well, it was just one season, but the goal is to build off of it and compete for a league title and make the playoffs," he said.

Another part of the season the Hurricane are looking forward to is getting to play on their home field for the first time in years, as Alumni Field has been renovated with turf. WHS has been playing their home games at Wilmington College the past few seasons.

Playing on their home field this season has brought even more excitement for the Hurricane football program in '15.

"Exciting would be an understatement," Killen said. "I have talked with many people in town, most of whom are alumni, and they can't wait for the first game back on Sept. 11.

"It will be great to not have to get on a bus every single week and travel to someplace. I couldn't be more thankful for the donors and everyone who made this dream a reality."

The Hurricane will open the '15 season on Aug. 28 at Little Miami, followed by another road game Week 2 at Bellbrook. Their first home game of '15 will be on Sept. 11 vs. Butler.