Ten months have passed, but the Humboldt Collegiate Institute Mohawks and Clavet Cougars will pick up where they left off when the 2015 High School 9-man Football season begins on Friday.

In November, it was Clavet downing Humboldt 19-11 in claiming the provincial championship, and while the stakes aren't nearly as high to kickstart a new year, Mohawks Head Coach Cory Popoff says they're treating it all the same.

"We certainly take this game quite seriously, knowing the result of last year wasn't where we wanted it to be."

Due to SHSAA regulations, high school teams aren't allowed to begin practicing until the last Monday in August, leaving both teams just nine practices to prepare for the opener.

"It would be nice to have a couple exhibition games," said Popoff. "It is what it is, and if anything it will be our gauge moving forward, and we will take lots of film and make improvements moving forward."

Part of that preparation is not only getting returning players up to speed, but also assisting new players to the program who will be seeing immediate game action.

The Mohawks are returning 23 players from last year's roster, while welcoming in 22, which includes 14 players in Grade nine.

"Once again, we have a good solid core at the grade 10 and 11 level, who are now grade 11 and 12. I don't think we'll miss too many steps with this process, it's just a matter of getting everyone on the same page offensively and defensively."

Popoff acknowledged the work of his coaching staff in helping to assist and prepare players to be in the best situation to ensure successful results each week.

The Mohawks coaching staff remains unchanged from their provincial run a year ago. Dave Rowe returns as the Offensive Coordinator, with Brian Hinz in charge of the defence. Mike Suchan, Tom Schwinghamer, Jamie Zaluski, and Tyler Bieber round out the rest of the staff.

Following Friday's game, the Mohawks head into a two week break prior to their next game - a road contest against Tisdale. From there, they will complete home and home games with the Tornados, as well as the Nipawin Bears before closing the regular season on October 23rd in Melfort against the Comets.

Provincial playoffs could bring a spooky feeling with the quarter-finals on Halloween. Provincial Championships will be played out on November 14th.

To hear more from Popoff in an interview with Bolt FM's Clark Stork, click below.