VIENNA, Va. (DC News Now) — The Madison Warhawks football team had a season to remember in 2021.

Fresh off of a state semifinal appearance in the spring of 2021 (COVID-19 season), the team followed it up with their first state final appearance in school history. Unfortunately, the team fell in the final to Oscar Smith.

Coming into this season, the team has a lot of new pieces to the offense and defense. Madison graduated over 20 seniors, and will now have to replace the most successful class in school history.

However, this season is not being looked at as a rebuild for the Warhawks. The team is still hopeful that they can continue to compete with the best teams in the state.

“It was a lot to look up to last year, so we know what it takes to be that caliber of a team,” said senior tight end Nolan Wilbricht. “Even though they are gone, their presence is still felt.”

“I feel like we have the potential to fill those shoes,” said senior wide receiver Kaden Wansel. “I think by mid-season, we should be playing at about the same level as last year.”

“I think the last couple of classes has established what we call the standard,” said head coach Justin Counts. “These boys know what it looks like, and know how to hold each other accountable.”

Madison opens up the 2022 season at home against the reigning Class 5 state champions, Stone Bridge, on August 26.