Vikings try to right ship in Fallon
Following a crushing season-opening defeat to Galena, South Tahoe High first-year football coach Nick Samaras scheduled an afternoon practice for Labor Day.
To his delight – not to his surprise – there was nearly a full turnout for the holiday practice two days after a 41-0 nondivision defeat to the Grizzlies.
“Two kids called in sick,” Samaras said. “The kids have responded and have had two really good days of practice.
“But don’t get me wrong, the whole coaching staff was a little disappointed on Saturday. We knew when we took this job that we had to build the program and we were dealing with a young group of kids. They found out it takes a little harder work to succeed, and I’m still very positive and think our program will do better.”
Galena coach Steve Struzyk admitted it wasn’t the same caliber of STHS team he’s encountered in the past, but he saw some positives for the Vikings to build on.
“They battled … they didn’t give up,” said Struzyk after earning his first win at Viking Bowl.
The chance to perform better comes as early as tonight as a nondivision game with Churchill County has been moved up a day to accomodate fans who wish to watch the University of Nevada, Reno’s televised opener on Friday night.
The Vikings may be without four starters against the 0-2 Greenwave. Starting quarterback Chris Diana and running back/defensive end Martin Taylor must each serve a one-game suspension after being tossed from the Galena game. Two-way starter Max Meeker will also miss the contest because of an injury left knee. Meeker had a MRI on Tuesday and the extent of the injury wasn’t known at press time.
However, there may be some good news on the injury front. Buck Pershing, a senior linebacker and running back, may be able to play with a bruised hip.
Junior Ryan Woods will start in Diana’s place behind center.
Both of the Greenwave’s defeats have come against league title contenders. Hug outlasted Churchill County 16-7 and Reno rolled over the Greenwave 37-12.
“They are decent football team, but it’s hard to tell since they played the No. 1 team in the state close and then they played Reno and got blown out,” Samaras said. “We made some adjustments and the kids have worked really hard this week. I know they can play harder. All they can do is improve.”
The 7:30 p.m. varsity game is preceded by a freshman contest at 4:30 p.m. STHS’s freshman squad lost its season opener 14-8.