South Tahoe spring football undefeated in Excel Athletics prep |

South Tahoe spring football undefeated in Excel Athletics prep

J.P. Kelsey
Pictured players, L-R: Giovanni Morales, Zachary Klug, Romeo Lopez, Jake Whisnant, Aksel Ferrier and DC Nelson. Middle row: Reece O'Keefe, Jeremy Smiley, Mason Hage, Leif Ferrier, Tyler Hernandez, Zion Grandolfo and Justin Vinson. Top row: Malachi Womack, Mason Brown and Jake Tarwater.
Courtesy/ Marc Hage |

The Tahoe Titans youth football program is currently underway with its second season of play, and it’s off to a strong start.

Formerly known as the Tahoe Vikings, the team is part of the Excel Athletics spring football league based out of Carson City.

The prep division the Titans are in features athletes ages 12 to 14 and includes four teams. The Titans are the only local team and are currently undefeated at 5-0. Excel Athletics holds games at James Lee Park in Carson City.

“We put this team together back in March,” said head coach Tom O’Keefe. “It was a little difficult at first because we had to start our practices indoors. This is our second year having a team at the prep level in Tahoe and we’re showing a lot of success with it.”

The team has since been able to practice on South Tahoe High’s football field.

Teams in the league usually play six regular season games, followed by a seventh and final championship game. O’Keefe said he’s seen a lot of consistency with the team this year and that the roster is solid from top to bottom.

“At this point we’re pretty confident that we will be playing in [the championship] game,” said O’Keefe. “We’re undefeated and we don’t think there’s a team that is going to knock us out of the playoffs. And we’re confident that we’re going to win it all.”

According to O’Keefe, the team has given up only four touchdowns all season and has made great strides since last season.

“Our record was 2-and-5 last year,” he said. “So we’ve already doubled our wins over last year.”

One of the things O’Keefe attributes to the success of the team is the leadership he’s seen from some of the older players on the team.

“The thing that has impressed me the most is how they’ve came together as a team,” said O’Keefe. “We’ve had several of these young men step up and they’ve been great leaders.”

The Titans now have one regular season game left and are well on their way to a possible win in the championship game. O’Keefe said his players have been adhering to a rigorous practice schedule and as long as they keep up they work they’ve been doing, the Titans should have some big wins coming up.

“We have an incredibly skilled team with kids that have been playing for many years,” said O’Keefe. “We have kids on our team that have played football for nine years and we’re blessed to have a lot of great athletes too.”

Help from coaching staff members Mike Smiley and Jim Klug have been a big help in getting the players to where they are, according to O’Keefe. The Titans will have their final regular season game against Carson on Saturday, May 20.

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