South Tahoe football caps summer at Douglas 7-on-7 tournament |

South Tahoe football caps summer at Douglas 7-on-7 tournament

Anthony Gentile
South Tahoe receiver Noah Jackson crosses the goal line in front of a Douglas defender during the Tigers’ 7-on-7 tournament last Friday.
Brad Coman / |

MINDEN, Nev. — The South Tahoe football team ended the competitive portion of its summer against Northern Nevada opposition — and finished on a strong note. The Vikings went 3-1 at the Douglas 7-on-7 tournament last Friday at Keith “Duke” Roman Field, its last competition before the start of fall camp.

“It went really well,” Vikings head coach Louis Franklin said. “We played some competitive teams and definitely did well — they exceeded my expectations.”

The tournament featured nine Div. I Northern teams along with a handful of South Tahoe’s Div. I-A Northern League rivals. Without five starters, the Vikings beat Truckee along with Div. I Reno schools North Valleys and Hug before losing to host Douglas — the Tigers finished the afternoon undefeated.

“It was a close game — we just got a little gassed,” Franklin said. “Douglas is an uptempo team, and we didn’t have as much rest as we’re accustomed to getting.”

“We played some competitive teams and definitely did well.”Louis FranklinVikings head coach

Rising senior Will Mori was South Tahoe’s top player during Friday’s action, starring on offense and defense. Offensively, Mori moved inside to play slot receiver and provided a consistent threat for the Vikings throughout the four games.

“He played really really well on both sides of the ball — it was his best performance of the summer,” Franklin said.

Other two-way standouts at the Douglas tournament included rising juniors Noah Jackson and Tommy Cefalu. Cefalu filled in at free safety while splitting time with rising senior Mason Cain at quarterback — the two have shared reps throughout the summer.

“They’re still splitting everything,” Franklin said. “We’re going to wait until camp hits, get pads on full time and see who can really separate themselves from each other.

“Both of the kids are very mature and very competitive, and I think at the end of the day they’re both going to want to do what’s best for the team to win football games.”

South Tahoe spent the summer focused on its passing game, installing the first plays of Franklin’s offense. In the process, the Vikings took home 7-on-7 hardware from the Lake Tahoe Football Camp in June and delivered solid results against Northern Nevada schools last Friday.

“We had a ton of work this summer, and I feel that we did really well,” Franklin said. “The talent discrepancy from top to bottom here is smaller, and that’s exciting — having seen some of the better teams up close and personal is great, because I can see how we can compete with those teams.”

The first day the Vikings can start practicing is Aug. 5, and when camp starts the offensive focus will be on the running game. South Tahoe will run a spread, no-huddle, triple-option offense next season its first-year head coach developed during eight seasons coaching at Tokay High (Lodi, Calif.).

“The kids are definitely picking up the passing game stuff really well,” Franklin said. “We’re just a little behind in the run game — but that’s what we focus on in August once we get pads on.”

South Tahoe opens its 2015 season Aug. 28 against El Dorado (Placerville, Calif.) at Viking Stadium. Franklin said he is already counting down the days until the Vikings take the field.

“It’s what I came up here for — it’s been fun being up in Tahoe for the summer, but it’s all about the fall season and it’s just around the corner,” he said. “There’s been quite a bit of an itch to get going.”

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