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Jaureguito: Offense is more explosive than ever

Veteran coaches are generally tight-lipped before the season, and South Tahoe High’s Tim Jaureguito has been no exception during his 13 years at the helm of the Vikings football program.

But only days before his 2000 season opener, Jaureguito has broken tradition and publicly labeled his offense as the most explosive in school history.

“This could be the most explosive offense we’ve ever put on the field,” said Jaureguito, who groomed a slick unit in 1991 that advanced to the state championship. “The offense is designed to get the horizontal spread through formation and the vertical spread through speed. We’ve got the speed this year.”



With nine returning offensive starters, including 1999 Northern Nevada 4A League rushing champion Jake Hurwitz, the Vikings field a formidable unit that can strike for six anywhere on the field.

“It’s going to be a load to handle,” said senior quarterback Jarred Uppendahl, the young man with the keys to the Porsche. “If they stop the pass, we’ll give it to Jake. If they stop the run, we’ll go to the pass.”




Hurwitz rushed for 1,275 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior. That total may decline in 2000 because the Vikings possess more weapons and intend to better utilize Hurwitz’s blazing speed by throwing to him in the flats.

“That’s one of our plans, to get Jake the ball more through the air,” Jaureguito said.

What’s even scarier for opposing defenses is that Hurwitz may actually see the ball better this fall.

“He wears glasses, but he doesn’t wear them in football, and I think that affects his vision when he’s catching passes,” said Jaureguito, who expects his star back to be wearing sports goggles when the season kicks off Friday in Sparks. “I think the goggles will help him tremendously in terms of being able to judge the ball.”

Complementing Hurwitz are fleet-footed senior receivers Immanuel Williams and Jerry Seeley. Williams scored three times in the first 12 plays of a scrimmage with Wooster last Saturday.

“These guys can fly, and there’s no question in my mind that Immanuel is a Division I receiver,” Jaureguito said. “Our receivers coach Jim Morgan has done an outstanding job with the receivers in the off-season. Our receivers don’t drop many balls.”

Uppendahl – the third player in his family (dad, Darrell, and brother, Bret, did as well) to play quarterback for South Tahoe – believes his two starts as junior will help him early in the season.

“It would make it a lot harder coming into this year if I didn’t get those starts when Tim (Sprinkles) went down last year, that’s for sure,” Uppendahl said. “There’s no weak spots in our offense. We have the best receiving corps in the league and a returning offensive line that is bigger, stronger and better.”

Jaureguito doesn’t doubt that Uppendahl will make the most of his senior season.

“Jarred Uppendahl has a cannon for an arm. I would say he can throw it 50-plus yards. It’s just a matter of him getting the ball out there for Immanuel, because when you combine his speed with the fact Jarred can throw, we expect to connect on the home run several times, if not many times this year,” Jaureguito said.

Making Hurwitz’s future long runs and Uppendahl’s quick touchdown strikes possible are senior quick tackle Nick Barclay (5-11, 204 pounds), junior strong tackle Jake Bobman (6-2, 219), senior center Matt Ring (5-9, 164), senior quick guard John Capitani (6-0, 160) and strong guard Matt McGuffin (5-10, 178). Sophomore Brandon Tinlin (6-4, 195) gives the Vikings size and speed at tight end.

“It’s a veteran group and very good group, although I was disappointed in their run blocking on Saturday. That’s something we need to work on,” said Jaureguito, who specializes in coaching offensive linemen.

How high the Vikings finish in the Nevada 4A Sierra Division hinges on the progress of an inexperienced defensive unit. Only senior outside linebacker Chas Tanner (5-6, 165) and senior outside linebacker Ryan Griffith (6-3, 189) started on last year’s Sierra Swarm.

“There’s some pretty big shoes to fill there with the graduation of Matt George, Justin Murray, Chris Seals, Justin McGrath and Ian Price. Those were pretty tough kids,” Jaureguito said. “What we’re hoping is that we’ll score enough points early on to where the defense matures. We feel if we can give them three or four games that by midseason when we start our division play, they’ll be mature enough and be ready to play. I think we’ll be just as good as we were last year, if not better.”

With a surplus of offensive stars, the Vikings coaching staff didn’t hesitate to pull from that talent pool to improve the defense. Hence, imposing 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior Garrett McIntyre was moved from tight end to inside linebacker. McIntyre will also play the role of Refrigerator Perry when he is inserted as a blocking back in the red zone.

Early on, the Vikings’ best defense may come off the foot of senior Carlos Romero, who is being courted by the California Golden Bears. Jaureguito expects his star punter to average 40-plus yards per kick, especially after attending the Ray Guy Punting Camp this summer.

“He outpunted all the people who were there and that included some college kickers,” Jaureguito said.

With so many pieces of the puzzle already in place, naturally the Vikings are aiming high.

“Our goal is to make it into the championship game, and anything less than that would be unacceptable,” Jaureguito said.

Last year: record (6-4), lost to Reed 35-31 in the first round of zone playoffs

Coach: Tim Jaureguito, 13th year

Returning starters: nine on offense, two on defense.

Coach’s quote: “Our goal is to make it into the championship game, and anything less than that would be unacceptable,” Jaureguito said.

Key to season: Development of an inexperienced defense

Opener: 7 p.m. Friday at Sparks


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