Vikings, Warriors face key games | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Vikings, Warriors face key games

Steve Yingling

Winning games this Friday night may determine if South Shore’s two prep football teams make the postseason.

A banged-up South Tahoe High squad will travel to Galena with a shot at evening its Sierra Division record at 2-2. The Vikings lost several key players to injuries last Saturday at Bishop Manogue, forcing Chris Morgan and his coaching staff to shuffle their lineup.

“We came out of that game down three starters and possibly up to five,” Morgan said. “We’ll need to fill some big voids this week.”

The most serious blow against the Miners was a midsection injury to junior Thomas Eidam. Senior lineman Jon Fago’t and junior Matt Olivares were also injured in the 33-7 defeat to Manogue.

The Grizzlies, a regional power in recent years, have struggled in 2008. Galena brings a 1-2 division record and 1-5 overall mark into its homecoming game Friday in Reno.

“Galena still is a good team, even though their record doesn’t reflect it,” Morgan said. “They are in the part of their schedule that is more manageable.”

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The Grizzlies and Vikings share fifth place in the Sierra Division, one game behind third-place Damonte Ranch and Carson (2-1). Four teams advance to the regional playoffs.

Whittell will hold its first evening homecoming game in school history on Friday night.

Fourth-place Whittell (4-2) has a shot at moving into third with a victory over Independence. The opening kickoff has been moved up to 6:30 p.m. The second-place Colts bring a 4-1 division mark to Zephyr Cove.

“Every game is a must-win,” said Whittell High coach David Atherton.

Playing the Colts this deep in the season concerns Atherton.

“Independence and ROP have kids with a lot of talent,” Atherton said. “These are kids from environments where it takes time to get them structured. When they get them on track, athletically they are deadly.

“These games aren’t going to be easy wins. It’s ‘A’ game time. It was nice to beat Incline, Silver Stage and North Tahoe, but the next two games are very serious for us to get to the playoffs.”

Atherton is hoping to see his squad play a complete game after struggling with North Tahoe last Saturday.

“We felt that we didn’t play that good of game, but we won 50-28,” Atherton said. “It was very important that our defense got scored on, to remind us that there is no reason to not go 100 percent on every play. It’s frustrating as a coaching staff as to why we are taking plays off. North Tahoe went all out for four quarters, and they put our ego in check.”

Atherton started the practice week by taking his team to see the Ernie Davis story. In 1961, Davis, a Syracuse running back, overcame racism to become the first African-American athlete to win the Heisman Trophy.

“At some point you need to get the kids to relax,” he said. “Football is serious, but it’s also important to do things as a team, and there is more to life than football,” Atherton said.

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