Samaras out but not forgotten | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Samaras out but not forgotten

Steve Yingling
Preseason football practice opened at South Tahoe High on Thursday and Nick Samaras wasn't in the center of it, reaping the rewards of

The never-ending weight-lifting sessions, the spring ball, the summer ball and swallowing some pride and learning the intricacies of the wing-T offense from Nevada Union coach Dave Humphers.

Samaras had restructured his whole life so he could become a successful high school coach. He moved up from the valley so he could be closer to his Vikings and gave them the attention they needed to succeed.

But two weeks ago, Samaras’ dream was cut short as he resigned because of personal reasons. Many rumors have swirled around town since Samaras’ resignation, but I think there are many people out there who realize how much time and effort he put into the program.

For that, Samaras should be applauded. Any success the Vikings have this coming season should go to the players who worked hard under his direction. They had become his life. He was in it for them, not himself.

On death’s doorstep

You never know what is going to be on TV after midnight and what you sometimes settle for can leave your jaw hanging on the floor.

Tuesday was one of those nights, and as luck would have it I was able to catch a replay of the recent X Games in Los Angeles. As much as Shaun White has become the icon of the Winter Games, Travis Pastrana is “The Man” in the Summer Games.

Motocross riders give gymnastics performances on top and around their motorcycles these days. Pastrana does double backflips and lazyboys as if Dr. Richard Steadman is his next-door neighbor. And Adam Jones of Carson City’s outrageous trick that appeared in the front of Monday’s sports section (where it looks like he’s sky diving over his handle bars) is borderline insane.

The X Games are encouraging these young riders to go bigger and gnarlier so ESPN will continue to showcase their extreme feats for one week during the year.

Is it really worth it? How many more years will it be before someone risks too much and lands in the cemetery? As it is, riders pass on their final run if they already have a gold medal in hand. What does that tell you?

I watched Pastrana tweak an already fragile knee just by walking following his sick gold-medal winning run in moto X. At 22, Pastrana has already been through nine knee surgeries. What quality of life will he have by the time he’s 30?

It’s looking more and more like John Elway will get around better than Pastrana in retirement.

But Pastrana and company sure are exciting to watch.

– Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or syingling@tahoedailytribune.com


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