Hiawatha football made the postseason last year and fell to eventual state runner-up Silver Lake.
"We've always had a pretty strong work ethic, but we're going to try to make sure we outwork people," Hiawatha head coach Chris Diller said. "We don't have the depth that some of these teams have. Our whole summer program, our whole preseason camp was all about trying to outwork people."
The Redhawks also have one of the top recruits in Kansas. Defensive lineman Peyton Newell garners offers from all over the country and will make his college choice known on Friday.
"I think our biggest thing is that we need to believe that we can do it," Newell said. "We have the tools and the players that can make that possible."
Newell narrowed his selection to four schools: Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and South Carolina.
"We have the players and the potential to go to state," Hiawatha senior running back/linebacker Parker Hasenkamp said." We made it to regionals last year but lost to a tough Silver Lake team, so we're hoping for state this year."
Hiawatha begins the season at home against Perry-Lecompton.