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Prep coach puts football in perspective

Column by Steve Yingling

Clinging to a four-point lead with less than 2 minutes remaining in the trend-setter of games – a season-opener – you’d think that the only way you could pry Viking coach Tim Jaureguito from the field is to put a harness around his waist and airlift him away by helicopter.

But football is only a game. Family should always come first. So when Jaureguito’s wife, Lisa, collapsed on the Viking sideline because of heat exhaustion on Saturday afternoon, football came into perspective – a distant second to the love for his wife.

“Obviously, what was going through my head was my concern for her. We were real fortunate that Dr. (Scott) Southard was on the sideline along with my brother, John, an orthopedic surgeon. She was in very good care, so it was very easy for me to back off,” Jaureguito said.

Jaureguito accompanied his wife to Barton Memorial Hospital in an ambulance and turned over his coaching duties to offensive coordinator Todd McIntyre.

“I asked Tim what happened, and he said, ‘Lisa fell down,’ and he didn’t talk to me for about 10 minutes. And then he said, ‘Can you come down and finish the game?’ I said, ‘OK.” Then I asked him if Lisa is going to be OK? And he said, ‘I’m going to the hospital, and that’s all I can say,'” said McIntyre, who handles his coordinator duties from atop the press box on Viking Hill.

Jaureguito’s fears were soon alleviated at Barton, where Lisa was examined, hydrated and released.

“Coming off the football field with no paperwork for insurance, the emergency room personnel was so fabulous and so considerate. We’re really fortunate in this community that they are as skilled and considerate as they are,” Jaureguito said.

After the Vikings registered the 40-36 victory, players missed their customary 20-minute postgame critique from Jaureguito.

“We need to hear what coach has to say, otherwise, we’re not going to get better,” said Viking junior linebacker Justin Murray, whose quarterback sack on a blitz with 51 seconds left sealed the victory.

While many coaches are separated from their families throughout late summer and fall, the Jaureguitos uniquely spend the season together on the field. Lisa serves as the team trainer and Tim’s daughter, Tali, keeps stats. And the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, Maddison, will probably join the team in some capacity soon. It’s a bond that has cemented the couple’s eight-year marriage.

“Not only is Lisa there to help the players, but it’s also good from the standpoint that there are times in games when she’ll say, ‘You need to settle down.’ She has been around enough years that I’ll definitely take her advice and try and do what she says. It’s nice to have somebody looking from the outside in and still be a big part of things,” Jaureguito said.

Very few late August days in Tahoe have been warmer. Temperatures climbed into the upper 80s here, while they approached the century mark in Reno where Elko and Wooster were sweating it out.

Fortunately, there weren’t any Vikings or Raiders accompanying Lisa to the hospital on Saturday. The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association should re-examine pushing back the season opener until the first week in September or restricting games to the evening the first few weeks.

“I don’t know, that’s a tough call to make. Heck, it’s hot all over United States,” Jaureguito said. “We took some good precautionary measures. We had lots of water on sidelines and she was taking fluids at halftime.”

When Lisa regained full consciousness at Barton, her first question wasn’t about what happened to her. The query came from the heart of someone who isn’t a football widow.

“Did we win?”

Did Joe Montana come out of retirement, or what?

Timmy Sprinkles, wearing Joe’s No. 16 Niners number, wasn’t any ordinary quarterback in his varsity start behind center. He threw and ran for three touchdowns and figured in all 40 of the Vikings’ points. His poise and understanding of the Vikings’ “West Coast” offense must scare any future opponent that watches his game film.

Speaking of Sprinkles, let’s cease the comparisons to Vikings’ 1996-97 all-state quarterback Bret Uppendahl. They are two different quarterbacks. Uppendahl was a poised pocket passer, while the fearless Sprinkles is more comfortable passing on the run. They’re both great signal callers, so let’s leave it at that.

Too bad University of Iowa coach Hayden Fry didn’t use one of his few remaining free Saturdays to attend the Vikings-Raiders game. One of his coveted high school seniors had a huge performance. Tight end Corey Martin caught seven passes, including three touchdowns and a two-point conversion, for 86 yards.

Martin said Iowa and Colorado are several of the schools expressing interest in him.

“Iowa is looking at using a guy like that at H-back … a guy that can block as well as catch,” Jaureguito said. “I don’t know how they found out about him, but they did find him, so we’re pleased that he might have the opportunity to go on and play college football.”

Battle Mountain might think it has a bye on their schedule this week after playing Douglas tough, 29-22, last Friday. But Whittell may have Battle Mountain right where they want them – at home and overconfident.

Collect on your rigorous off-season training, Warriors.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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