Vikings banged up heading into opener |

Vikings banged up heading into opener

Steve Yingling

During Tim Jaureguito’s nine previous seasons as South Tahoe High football coach, player injuries occurred as infrequently as presidential visits to Lake Tahoe.

But two weeks into his 10th campaign, Jaureguito can be thankful that he decided to expand his varsity roster several years ago. Heading into their season opener at Reed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Vikings are giving part-time team trainers and doctors full-time work.

“We’ve been pretty lucky, and maybe we’ve used up all our luck,” Jaureguito said. “I’m very concerned at this point because of all the injuries we have. But everybody has them; we just have to learn to deal with them,” Jaureguito said. “In many of the area we have backups, but their timing isn’t going to be good.”

Six Viking starters are nursing injuries, and several will likely miss the season opener.

The most serious injury is to senior center Henry Hoppe, who damaged the same knee in practice this week that he hurt as a sophomore. He was expected to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging test on Wednesday and is doubtful for the Reed game. Other injuries include: offensive tackle Ryan Souza, fractured thumb; sophomore flanker Tim Sprinkles, pulled hamstring; senior receiver Casey Dowling, back strain; Adam Heggan, strained wrist; and cornerback Carson Triggs, broken wrist.

If Hoppe can’t play, Jaureguito plans to insert senior Jason Murakumi, a 5-10, 185-pounder in the center spot. Possible replacements at receiver are free safety Scott Souers and Brian Sommerfeldt.

Doug Parry will make his Northern Nevada League coaching debut against the Vikings. But the first-year Reed coach is no stranger to the profession. He coached Bear River, Utah to a 38-35 record in seven seasons and was an assistant for 12 years.

Former coach Courtney Bossert left Parry with only two returning starters – free safety Ryan Puliz and wide receiver Norm Brady.

“We are thin from a depth standpoint and won’t be able to sustain many key injuries and still expect to be able to compete,” Parry said.

Interestingly, both teams utilize the University of Nevada’s spread offense in a league that is enamored with the Wing T, and the Vikings’ 5-2 and the Raiders’ 4-2 defensive alignments are similar as well.

“More teams are going to it. Douglas runs the fly offense and they run out of the same formations (that we use in the fly),” Jaureguito said.

But the Raiders may not like what they see when they look into the mirror, especially when they are on defense. With senior quarterback Bret Uppendahl (15 touchdown passes in 1996) and senior tailback Bryan Bough (1,295 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns in 1996) operating behind an experienced offensive line, the Vikings are explosive.

Overall, Jaureguito wasn’t pleased with his Vikings’ intensity level in last Saturday’s scrimmage with Wooster. But that may have been rectified in practice earlier this week.

“I hope so. In practice the intensity level has been up, and hopefully they can take it to another level on Friday,” he said.

Game time on Friday is 7:30 p.m.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.