Vikings football striving for shortened-season success

Lucas Milgrim, Staff

Normally played in the fall, the football season was shifted to begin on March 1 when the sports seasons were changed.  There had been speculation about whether or not football would be played because of its status as a high-risk sport, but with extra protocols in place, the team will be able to play, albeit in a shortened season.  This is the first time that the Vikings will be playing during the spring, and they hope that this change will bring them success for the year.  

Preparation for the football season began strong, despite the necessary modifications to practices.  

“We started off with a great first week of practice.  Obviously, with COVID-19 it was much different because of the social distancing, masks, and other protocols,” said junior quarterback Jett Reiter. 

The practice field was considerably more spread out than usual, making it look and feel different for the experienced players and a strange beginning for the newcomers to the team.  The players looked to bring the strong momentum from their practice week into their first game on Saturday, March 13.  However, news arose that multiple players had tested positive for COVID-19, so the entire team has been forced to quarantine for 10 days, making one, and possibly more, games unplayable.  

“We’re all disappointed by this, but we’re going to have to come out with a lot of energy and discipline to be where we want to,” said Reiter.

A major component to this energy and discipline is the leadership on the team.  With all of the change and uncertainties surrounding the football team, especially in the coming weeks, the experience of the older players and coaches will have to shine through in order for the team to be successful.  

“Leadership is a very important aspect of the game.  Myself and the rest of the seniors who have been in the system need to be great leaders and great role models for the younger guys.  I have to be a good mentor to my fellow teammates and almost be a coach that’s on the field, helping my teammates, and playing the game at the same time,” said senior Michael Cichon.  

Cichon also agreed that the coaches are great leaders for every player, new and old.  

“They really put us in a position to win every week and they are great at communicating with us and teaching us what needs to be done to get our jobs done on the field.  The coaches have their game plan that is given to us players and we have to execute it,” said Cichon.  

This year, everyone will be looking to the leaders to help bring this team the success they have been working and hoping for.  Cichon credits the team’s veterans with helping to install the game plan in this first week.  

“We were able to install our offense and defense effectively because of those guys that have been on varsity already.  They helped the new guys learn the plays and calls quicker which got us into a good spot going into game week.  This first week was really made great because of our veteran leadership in the program,” said Cichon.  

In addition, the strong bond the players have with one another will help contribute to the team’s success.  Each player is rooting for their teammates to perform their best, and they all challenge each other to be the best they can, on and off the field.  

“My personal goal I’ve set for this season is to do the best I possibly can in order to help our star running back, Daron [Proctor], get into college for football.  Daron’s been my brother in and out of pads for years and there’s nothing I want more than to see him succeed at the next level,” said senior linebacker Jonathan Lockom.  

Seeing their teammates succeed is a common theme on the squad, which could lead to a historically great season for the Vikings.  They have a lot to overcome at this point in the year, but with the blend of experience, talent, and confidence, this year’s football team could be one of the best ever.  

“We have an experienced team with great leaders and coaches, and are looking to have a deep playoff run- I honestly think we could win it all,” said Lockom.