It’s never too early to start scoping out next season’s opponents, circling the rivalries, highlighting the barnburners, and penciling in the all-too-confident ‘guaranteed wins.’ Coming off a 10-2 season that saw Hayfield capturing their second consecutive Gunston District crown, the Hawks will need to weather a substantially tougher opening slate of games over last year’s (Chantilly, Edison, Fairfax) in order to secure favorable playoff seeding.
As mid-August rolls around, the Hawks will scrimmage Edison and W.T. Woodson. For the first time in 10 years, Hayfield will not face Edison in the regular season. It’s unknown when or if this Bird Bowl rivalry will restart, but the earliest wouldn’t be until 2021. Hayfield will then play Patriot District champion W.T. Woodson in what should be a meaningful tune-up for the regular season.
Week 1 @ Freedom (13-2)
Upending three-time defending state champion Westfield Bulldogs in the Northern Region final last year and falling to a star-studded Manchester team in the state championship game, the Hawks have their work cut out for them. A little revenge might be on the menu for ending Hayfield's season last year, but Freedom has only dropped three games in the past two seasons. Last season: L 19-29 in Occoquan Region Semi Final.
Week 2 @ South County (7-5)
A rivalry game that has Hayfield on the wrong side of the win column, dropping six straight against the Stallions. Although it has not been for lack of effort, half of those games were decided by six points or less. Last season: L 6-36.
Week 3 vs. Lake Braddock (7-4)
Lake Braddock will make their first trip to Hayfield since 2008, the last year Hayfield was in the Patriot District. The Hawks last played the Bruins in the playoffs in 2016 but did not fare well in that contest. Last season: Did not play.
Week 4 @ Robinson (6-5)
Possibly the most exciting game from last year, the Hawks scored on a 47-yard pass with 13 seconds left to beat the Rams, a feat not accomplished since 1998. But Robinson’s smashmouth Wing T offense is one of the tougher offenses to prepare for on any given week, if you’re not prepared, you’re going to get punched in the nose. Last season: W 34-27.
Week 5 vs. Yorktown (6-5)
A once regular foe from 2009-2016, who ripped several district championships from the talons of the Hawks grasp, will make a return appearance. Yorktown is on the rise and should not be taken lightly. Last season: Did not play.
Week 6 Bye Week
Week 7 vs. Chantilly (3-7)
The last non-district opponent of the schedule, Hayfield is currently riding a two-game winning streak against the Chargers. Last season: W 28-23.
Week 8 @ T.C. Williams (4-6)
It’s quite possible Hayfield will be playing under the lights at a brand new Parker-Grey Stadium for the first time this fall. But in any environment, Hayfield will have their work cut out for them playing one of the largest schools in Class 6. Last season: W 59-37. *Update: This game will be played at the St. James Sports Complex as T.C.'s stadium renovations will not be completed in time.
Week 9 vs. Mount Vernon (8-3)
Not fooled by any tricks the Majors might have up their sleeves, the Hawks accounted for two of their three losses last season. Hayfield has won 13 straight in this series. Last season: W 34-19 & W 33-22.
Week 10 @ Annandale (4-6)
Annandale finished second in the Gunston District last year, falling only to Hayfield. It should be another closely contested district race, but the Hawks should prevail. Last season: W 53-14.
Week 11 vs. West Potomac (2-8)
Rounding out the regular season, the Wolverines will take the quick bus ride to Hayfield. But it could be a long bus ride home, the Hawks have won the last two matchups by a combined 93-43 score. Last season: W 53-13.