Beavers is being patient; Vikings need to do the same
As awful as things seem now for the South Tahoe High football program, they could be much worse if Eric Beavers wasn’t the head coach.
Beavers’ unwavering poise and composure will get the Vikings through the
roughest season since the 1980s and maybe another one or two.
For someone who success came to immediately as a freshman quarterback at the University of Nevada, Beavers is showing a maturity and patience that many first-year coaches don’t have.
“You always want to have success, so our staff has had to adjust how we
measure that success,” said Beavers, whose squad stands 0-7 going into
Saturday’s game with another program that doesn’t often struggle, Wooster.
“We’re doing it in small increments, trying to teach the kids the right way
and bringing along the lower levels so this doesn’t happen again.”
“What we’re trying to teach them is that football isn’t necessarily
important, but doing things right is important. If you do things right, the
wins will come.”
Taking over the Vikings when he did, Beavers’ knew from his past two seasons as a STHS assistant that wins would be harder to unearth than rocks on Boulder Mountain.
The frosh and JV programs were winless in previous years, and those players don’t magically become winners upon reaching the varsity squad.
“The kids playing have never won a game before,” said senior middle
linebacker Garrett McIntyre, who played a key role in the Vikings’ 8-3
season a year ago. “They’ve never felt what it’s like to win … they think
this is what football is about, but everything is completely different. I’m
just trying to stay with it and hopefully come out with one win this year.”
To the 6-foot-3 McIntyre’s credit, he has shown a commitment that other
returning players could not. Two star defenders have quit the team in the
past month as the losses have mounted.
“It has something to do with our culture,” Beavers said. “It seems it’s too
easy for kids to quit. I know if I were a parent I’d talk to them about when
you make a commitment to others that means you can’t back out when things don’t go well.”
The lack of commitment by some is no reflection on Beavers, who is only
trying to implement a foundation that can lead the Vikings back to where
they were over the past decade.
“Even though some of these guys have given up, one thing (Eric) stresses is
that he’s not going to give up,” McIntyre said. “What he’s trying to start
is a powerhouse program like McQueen. He’s starting to build a program with a new $12,000 weight room, new weightlifting classes.
“I think he will succeed in doing that, and eventually South Tahoe will be
competing with the top teams again.”
Beavers attributes much of this season’s downfall, not to the present, but
what the players failed to do four years prior: make a commitment to
becoming stronger and better conditioned by lifting weights year-round like the league’s other successful teams do.
After all, football is a physical game, and right now most of the Vikings
aren’t physical enough to receive a part in an Olivia Newton John video.
The new weight room and in-season lifting program have put the Vikings on
the right path for future seasons. But will the returning core of players
continue that commitment in the off-season?
In less than two weeks football will be over at STHS earlier than it has in
years. But don’t blame Beavers. He is only doing what he feels is his part
in turning the program around. The rest is up to the players.
Hopefully the fans will make him feel welcome. If so, he’ll return the
Vikings to the playoffs several years down the road. He just needs the fans
to show the same patience he is demonstrating.
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