Vikings don’t want to blow home playoff game |

Vikings don’t want to blow home playoff game

Anyone driving by South Tahoe Middle School late Sunday afternoon saw South Tahoe Athletic Director Don Borges, Vikings head coach Joe Winters and members of the boys soccer team doing all they could to keep home-field advantage for the Vikings.

With the heavy snowfall that hit the South Shore during the weekend, the first round of the 4A zone playoffs was nearly moved to a different venue as the field lay under a thick cover of snow.

But Winters and his team worked late into the evening with snow blowers and shovels to keep the advantage in South Tahoe’s favor.

“We were using headlights toward the end so we could see what we were doing,” Winters said.

Even with all the efforts put forth to keep the game on the South Shore, today’s contest location won’t be determined until 9 a.m. If the field at the middle school is not satisfactory, the game will be switched to one of three locations – Galena, Carson, or Douglas. And Winters definitely has his preference to where he’d like to play, if not at home.

“Douglas would be my first choice. It doesn’t seem to get windy there as it does at Carson,” Winters said. “The last place would Galena. We don’t want to give them that added advantage by letting them host the game.”

Galena must approve any change of venue if the game needs to be moved.

No matter where the game is contested, the Vikings still head into the action as the No. 2 seed from the Sierra Division and will take on Galena, the No. 3 seed in the High Desert Division.

The Vikings and Grizzilies are not unfamiliar to each other, having squared off twice before. The Grizzlies won the first time around, handing STHS a 2-1 defeat in a tournament in Vacaville, Calif.

South Tahoe was able to exact revenge in the opening game of the season when the Vikings went into Galena and beat the Grizzlies 3-0.

“They played us pretty physical the first two times we played them,” Winters said. “They used an offside trap against us. They caught us a couple times, but we also got a few breakaways on them.”

The Vikings have lost two of their past three games heading into today’s showdown, but now are back to full strength.

STHS was bothered by both nagging injuries and a player suspension, but seem to have everyone healthy and ready to play.

“My guys are ready,” Winters said. “We didn’t come into those last few games mentally and physically ready, but I think we’re focused now.”

Winters knows his team can’t look past the Grizzlies because they’ve lost to them in the past and anything can happen in the playoffs.

“They can surprise some people,” Winters said. “They finished third in the league and have played a lot of tight games.”

Wherever the game is played, the two teams will kick off at 2 p.m.

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