Vikings Ready to Open Season

When August 1 comes around it signifies the open of fall athletics for the NCHSAA, and as the end of August approaches, along comes Football Friday Nights. The Avery Vikings are ready to open their 2010 campaign on the turf at MacDonald Stadium on Friday evening when they face off with the Robbinsville Black Knights to open the year.

On Thursday evening the Vikings hosted four other schools in an annual Jamboree to open the season.  Mitchell, West Lincoln, West Caldwell and Happy Valley made the trek to Avery to get some of their first tastes of gridiron action of the year.

Avery is coming off a great summer, winning two different 7-on-7 tournaments, and making statements with a number of people around the region and the State taking notes on the high powered passing game led by Alex Villanueva.  Viking receiver, Andy Gonzalez has also made a statement this off-season, being named Pre-Season All-State in the 1A ranks.

The Vikes hope to use this momentum to catapult them into the season, as they open with one of the top teams in the state over the past few years.

The Vikes took the field on Thursday to get their first full squad action of the year.  Following the opening session of the evening the Vikings took the field opening up against West Lincoln, allowing just one score from West in the opening 10 minute defensive set, while scoring twice when the offense took the field.

In the second tangle of the evening for the Vikings, they took the field against Happy Valley, allowing a score during the opening 10 minutes.  Avery buckled down and scored once on their drive, but a late turnover left the scoring even during the season rumble of the evening.

In the third, Avery took the field with West Caldwell and battled tough, stepping up strong on defense again, only allowing one score, while again putting the ball in the endzone for a score of their own and wrapping the contest even on scores as the weather moved in and cleared the field due to lightning.

As the evening wrapped, Avery and West Caldwell waited out the weather to face off following the storm and give each team more experience.  Mitchell also looked ready during the Thursday evening jamboree, putting together a number of scoring drives, and relying on their defense to keep teams at bay, but due to the weather conditions were unable to face off with Avery on the evening.

“I feel good about what I am seeing from out guys,” remarked Head Coach Darrell Brewer.  “We have never entered the season with so much off-season work put in by the players.  There were a few things we need to work on, but I feel that we are in great shape as the season gets underway.”

The Mountaineers opened the evening with a 30 yard run to pay-dirt, and continued their running attack throughout the evening behind the combination of Troy Self and Shawn Jackson.

On Friday, the Vikings traveled to Hampton to take on the Bulldogs in pre-season action.  Both teams battled tough and Avery used the time to work on a number of strategies as the season gets underway.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Mitchell Mountaineer football team who had four players seriously injured in an accident on Friday evening in the Ledger area.

The Vikings will open the season on Friday Night at MacDonald Stadium with game time slated for 7 PM.

Good luck to the Vikings this season!  We’re all behind you!  GO VIKES!