APPLETON (WLUK) -- After winning its first two games of the season Xavier has dropped two straight and now has the daunting task of playing at undefeated West De Pere on Friday in the Game Time Game of the Week.
Furthermore, the Hawks have a roster that includes 23 sophomores, but they are not backing down.
"When we play the grade doesn't even matter, we're just a team," Xavier senior quarterback T.J. Van Eperen said. "Doesn't affect how we do things or how we do it. We stick together.
"We just trust in each to do our jobs. Last two weeks have been a little rough for us, but we're ready to bounce back. It's our week. We're going to go get it."
Coaching a sophomore-laden can be a difficult task, especially in big games like Friday, but Xavier coach Dave Hinkens doesn't care. When asked about coaching such a young team, he smiles.
"It's been fun, these kids are awesome," Hinkens said. "They come to work every day and the one big thing is the growth, I've never been around a team that has started at such a point that are going to finish at a high point. Whatever that means record-wise, I don't know and I don't care.
"Some day these sophomores are going to be seniors and lessons that are learned this 2018 season, those lessons might be applied in the 2019 or 2020 season and it's interesting some of the best sophomores we've had, had those experiences that I saw as seniors and I know where we're going to be, where this program is going to be back to.
"These experiences are going to help pave a road for us to get where we need to be."
But staying in the present is Friday's game with West De Pere. It's a team Hinkens has a ton of respect for.
"Getting through this we're not going to play a better team the rest of the way," Hinkens said. "No disrespect to anyone we're playing, but it's just the reality of the situation."
It's another game that will help pave the road.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay