South Tahoe aims to turn season around against Lowry on homecoming
South Tahoe on Wednesday night looked nothing like a football team that has lost three straight games.
The Vikings competed in every drill they performed and every activity had a winner and loser. Even the coaches were in on the action helping to defend against senior quarterback Peyton Galli and his receiving corps.
And at the end of that drill head coach Louis Franklin and assistant George Petties and the other defenders weren’t the ones doing up-and-downs as punishment for losing.
It’s homecoming week at South Tahoe and there was more energy Wednesday in the 90 minutes at practice than has been there the past couple of weeks.
Franklin finished the night by gathering his team and congratulating them.
“If we do it right, we’ll go light. If we do it wrong, we’ll go long,” Franklin said to his team, which finished roughly 30 minutes before practice was scheduled to end. Practice ran long the week before.
“It’s the last homecoming for me so it’s pretty important,” said senior lineman Logan Langmeier who has hopes of playing in college. “I’d like to come out of here with a win. Right now a win will be big for us being 1-3. We’ve had some troubles in the past and we’re coming out full force this week because we know what’s at stake for us. It’s important.”
With homecoming comes all the festivities like staying late building floats, dress-up days and many other activities but the Vikings are focused on the most important part of homecoming for them.
“Getting that win on Friday, that’s all,” Franklin said. “Looking at it through my narrow lens as a coach that’s all that matters really to me on Friday nights is how we play, did we play our best. And in our league, we should win each week.”
South Tahoe has played three of the top four teams in the 3A Northern League in their first four games. They also played and defeated Sparks, the fifth place team.
The Vikings showed promise last week nearly knocking off Churchill, of Fallon, Nevada, on the road eventually losing 35-34.
Vikings senior Jakob Costley has been one of the more consistent performers on offense this season and rushed for over 100 yards last week against Churchill. He has accumulated 335 yards and four touchdowns for the season. He’s looking forward to playing Lowry (0-4 3A Northern) Friday in front of a full house.
“Homecoming is a really a fun time, especially for the seniors,” Costley said. “They’re fun games because we usually win those. Hopefully we win this one because we’ve put in a lot of work not to win. We’re on a losing streak so we need this one. But it’s gonna be packed. That and senior night last year are two games that I remember the most.”
Langmeier described the scene last year with rowdy fans packing the bleachers, the hillside and standing around the fence that guards the field.
“Just for us to get down to the field we had the Gator go in front of us and honk the horn to move people out of our way,” Langmeier sid. “Homecoming, especially for Tahoe, is a special time of the year. Hopefully it scares Lowry a little bit to show them what we’re like.”
Franklin, the third-year coach, is looking forward to meeting past alumni and watching how the community comes together for this game.
“It’s really cool because I get to meet a lot of alumni not being a local guy,” Franklin said. “We’re seeing more and more people come back and supporting the program. Hearing their kind words about where the program is going is nice. I know the kids like hearing that and we enjoy giving them a watchable product that they can be proud of.”
Franklin warned his players, especially his seniors, that they have just two guaranteed regular season home games left on the schedule.
And nobody liked hearing that. They hope to turn around the season and maybe host a playoff game. That starts tonight with the Buckaroos. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
“It kinda scared me,” Langmeier said thinking about his coach’s words. “We’re already in week five or six, for me it’s flying by and I’m for sure going to miss it. This game, I know we’re gonna come out 100 percent because we all want to host a home playoff game and play here one last time.”
Game notes: 3A Northern League standings: Spring Creek 4-0, Fernley 4-0, Churchill 3-1, Truckee 3-1, Sparks 2-2, Elko 2-2, South Tahoe 1-3, Wooster 1-3, Lowry 0-4, Dayton 0-4. … This week: Spring Creek at Wooster; Fernley at Sparks; Churchill at Dayton; Truckee at Elko.