Hennessee era to kick off at STHS | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hennessee era to kick off at STHS

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

In past years, opening the season with a Nevada Class 3A opponent hasn’t guaranteed success for the South Tahoe High football program.

The Vikings will kick off their 2009 season against Dayton on Saturday, trying to make Kevin Hennessee’s coaching debut a success. South Tahoe, however, has struggled in season openers of late, losing to Sparks the past two years.

South Tahoe last played Dayton in 2007, losing 19-10, and the Vikings haven’t won a season opener since demolishing Galena 36-0 in 2004.

Dayton, which was 3-7 last year, is preparing to run the Nevada Wolf Pack’s Pistol offense this season. South Tahoe was planning to go with a run-oriented scheme until Chris Morgan resigned to take over the Pacific Grove, Calif., program.

Hennessee was offered the South Tahoe job in late July after the school delayed selecting a coach because of an opportunity to hire a teacher/coach. After taking over the team on Aug. 13, Hennessee implemented a new offense, adding more passing plays for senior quarterback Thomas Eidam.

“We came from learning a whole new offense for four months to starting all over again,” Eidam said on the first day of practice. “It’s going to be a lot harder, but we can do it.”

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The Dust Devils are feeling good about themselves following a scrimmage with Wooster last Saturday.

“We started off slow, and I was worried about them kind of folding, but we did the exact the opposite … did what you want do,” Dayton coach Rick Walker said. “We struggled a little bit, but fought through it and I thought we improved throughout the whole day.”

Walker was particularly pleased with his defensive effort against the Colts. Wooster scored three times, including once on a set goal-line situation, in 40 offensive plays.

South Tahoe’s varsity numbers will be larger than past years after the school decided to drop the junior varsity team and promote 15 sophomores to the varsity.

Saturday’s opening kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.

– The Nevada Appeal contributed to this story.