Season preview: Vikings receive a crash course on new schemes
August 14, 2009
South Tahoe High School starts its season on Aug. 29 and faces some tough competition in its first three games.
The Vikings have 15 days to prepare with new head coach Kevin Hennessee before playing Dayton.
“Dayton is a must win,” said senior tight end Garrett Tinlin. “We have to win that game.”
The Vikings’ schedule gets tougher with games against Hug and McQueen following the opener. Hug went 8-1 in the regular season last year, losing only to eventual state champion McQueen. South Tahoe lost both games against those teams by a combined 68 points and could only muster 7 points combined in the two games.
“Hug will be a good game; they lost a couple of players last year that were a big part of their team, and I think we can hang with them,” Tinlin said. “McQueen is (the) state champ, so it is going to be a really tough game.”
On Thursday, the Vikings participated in the first practice of the Hennessee era. Slightly more than 50 players combined from the varsity, junior varsity and freshman squads attended. All three teams worked together with the new coach to learn his scheme.
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“Everything is different. It is going to be a lot harder, but we can do it,” said senior quarterback Thomas Eidam. “We came from learning a whole new offense for four months to starting all over again. It will be tough, but we can do it.”
The Vikings spent the entire first practice working on offense, learning different plays and formations with the new coach.
“Good first day,” Hennessee said. “Lots of enthusiasm. Kids worked hard; nothing but good things.”
Hennessee said he was not worried about the small number of attendees at the practice.
“I expected them to be a little low,” Hennessee said. “I think as time goes on and people figure out what is going on, they are going to come out. It will pick up as it gets going. … I will coach 10 people or 60 people; it is whoever wants to be here, and as time goes on and more people know what we are about, then they will all want to be here.”
Eidam said he is comfortable lining up behind the players that South Tahoe has to protect him.
“Our offensive line is good. I trust they are going to protect me, and I am going to do my part,” he said.
Eidam added that he is excited about the new scheme that Hennessee wants to run.
“I get to throw the ball a lot more, and I have a lot of great receivers who can all catch, especially Garrett Tinlin,” Eidam said.
Hennessee said that he has not named an offensive or defensive coordinator, adding the decision is not imminent.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Elliott Amsden said he thinks South Tahoe will have a good unit.
“We are looking really quick this year,” he said. “A lot more athletic than last year.”
South Tahoe finished last season with a 2-8 record.
Hennessee’s old team, Desert Hot Springs High School, did not do much better going 4-6, and losing four of its final five games.
Hennessee said his team had trouble at that point during the season because of injuries.
“If you look at the last game that should tell you,” Hennessee said. “We had everybody healthy, and we beat Big Bear at Big Bear.”
Hennessee coached at Desert Hot Springs for three years and also was a head coach for six years in the Bay Area.
Vikings’ 2009 schedule
Date Opponent Time
Aug. 29 Dayton 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 5 Hug 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 11 at McQueen 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 18 at Carson 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 26 at Wooster 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 3 Manogue 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 h-Galena 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 16 at Fallon 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 24 Douglas 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 29 at Damonte 7:30 p.m