Vikings try to win opener for new coach |

Vikings try to win opener for new coach

There are so many similarities between the South Tahoe and Galena high school football programs going into Saturday’s season opener that the teams could switch uniforms.

Both teams emphasize running the ball, run 4-4 defenses and are coming off a run of multiple postseason appearances.

South Tahoe, however, has extra incentive to win because Nick Samaras is making his varsity head coaching debut at Viking Bowl in South Lake Tahoe.

“Being at home is a great way to start your varsity coaching career,” Samaras said. “Our players are hungry and very enthusiastic about playing football.”

Galena has a little more experience at quarterback than the Vikings, but the teams are comparable at running back. Samaras is undecided on who will start between Ryan Woods and Chris Diana, while the Grizzlies’ 6-foot-3 Tony Fritsche saw significant playing time behind center last year.

The Grizzlies return Ryan Krueger, Cody Holland and James Morrison at running back compared to the Vikings, who return Martin Taylor and Buck Pershing.

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“They are a good team. They have size and they have a good running back,” Samaras said. “They play basic, sound football on both sides of the ball.”

Samaras is pleased with the progress of his Vikings going into Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. game.

“The coaching staff is very happy with where we are at,” Samaras said. “We’re still learning and they need varsity experince, and we hope to attain it before Reno comes up in four weeks.”