Vikings football opener canceled due to COVID |

Vikings football opener canceled due to COVID

Vikings coach Jeff Cheek chats with quarterback Trenton Schouten during practice this preseason. (Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe football has been practicing indoors this week while avoiding the smoke from the Caldor Fire that brought horrible air quality to the basin.

The Vikings were preparing for a Friday night clash with the Galena Grizzlies, an upper division team out of Reno, and discussing whether or not the game would be played because smoke is expected to roll back into the region Friday afternoon.

We dealt with the smoke the best way we could,” said first-year head coach Jeff Cheek. “We had to change times, and there were conflicts because all the teams needed to use the gym. We reached out to kids every morning and now we’re trying to figure out where we’re going to play, if we’re going to play at all.”

As it turns out, smoke was the least of their worries.

Friday night’s non-league clash against the Grizzlies has been canceled due to positive COVID tests from some players on Galena, Cheek said.

In the lead up to the scheduled opener, the Vikings were fortunate to get in a scrimmage last Friday against Argonaut, a physical running team with a lot of tradition that plays in the Mother Lode League in California.

The Vikings had 10 days of practice before the scrimmage, including four double-days, that helped the coaching staff evaluate the team.

“The real positives were the offensive and defensive lines, we got a lot of push,” Cheek said. “But we had no idea what they liked to run. If we had some more practice time and knew what we were doing, it would have been a fair fight.”

The Vikings have established who their starting quarterback will be when the season does begin in Trenton Schouten. For the senior righthander, whenever the season opens, it will be taking his first snaps in game action.

“We really feel good about him under center,” Cheek said.

The Vikings also know who’s going to be getting the ball a lot on offense.

“James Adams is our rock on defense and he’s our guy on offense,” Cheek said. “We’d like to give him breaks, but he plays outside linebacker and running back, it’s hard to get him off the field.”

The Vikings also have junior Joel Gomez returning at wide receiver. During his freshman and sophomore years he caught 58 passes for 707 yard and seven touchdowns.

Also returning is Leif Ferrier, who was named Defensive Player of the Year for the Northern League last spring during a COVID-shortened season.

Ferrier is a senior that anchors the line at defensive end. He also will see time at fullback on the offensive side of the ball.

The Vikings have limited numbers this season, and are still accepting athletes at the freshman and junior varsity levels.

“We would love to add some younger kids into the program,” Cheek said. “Anybody interested in playing, or learning how to play, are more than welcome.”

The Vikings next scheduled game is next week, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, against Fernley at home.

South Tahoe lineman go through drills at a practice this summer. (Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune)

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