Vikings wary of ‘little’ Foresthill
South Tahoe High’s first two opponents took advantage of the Vikings’ lack of varsity experience. That shouldn’t be the case on Saturday when the Vikings travel to Foresthill to play the Wildfires.
Foresthill (0-1) is playing its first season of varsity football and the second-year public school located near Auburn has 195 students, none of whom are seniors.
Despite being six times smaller than STHS, coach Jim Herlehy doesn’t mind the challenge that awaits on Saturday afternoon.
“We needed a game and we want to test ourselves against bigger schools,” Herlehy said. “By doing this we hope to prepare ourselves a little better for our league.”
Saturday’s 1 p.m. game will also serve as Foresthill’s first-ever varsity home game. Herlehy said he expects the townspeople to support his program given that it’s their first home game and that there is little else going on in Foresthill on Saturday. That excitement concerns STHS coach Nick Samaras.
“We’re gonna have to get after it,” Samaras said. “It’s kind of David vs. Goliath. I’ve told the boys that they’ll be ready to play us. It’s a big game for them to go against a bigger school.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Wildfires’ field was without goalposts. They were scheduled to be erected on Thursday.
“It’s been a pretty interesting process,” Herlehy said. “We’ve only had one practice on our field. We’re hoping to get on the field Thursday.”
As a result, the Wildfires have practiced in the outfield of the school baseball field.
“We’ve had old sandlot football. We’ve had kids standing up and pretending to be goalposts,” he said.
In their season opener last Friday, the Wildfires ran into defending section champion Delta and lost 49-0. The Wildfires used a sophomore quarterback who completed 10 of 20 passes in defeat.
“He threw a lot of balls right on the money and there were five drops,” Herlehy said.
The Vikings have struggled offensively, failing to score in eight quarters. But the Vikings should have more firepower on Saturday with the return of quarterback Chris Diana and running back Martin Taylor.
“We should be a little more near full strength,” Samaras said.
Two-way player Max Meeker, however, will miss his second straight game while healing an injured knee. Meeker could return soon, though.
“He’s been walking around without crutches and he’ll be in therapy for at least a couple of weeks,” Samaras said.
Samaras has been pleased with the progress of his 0-2 Vikings.
“We’re getting better and I’m sure we’ll continue to get better,” Samaras said. “We were competitive last week, but we made mistakes a young team will make.”
The nonleague game wasn’t on the Vikings’ original schedule. Damonte Ranch decided earlier this summer to drop varsity football in 2005, creating an opening for a nonleague matchup in STHS’s schedule.