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Thursday Notes: Injury Update, Road (or boat?) Trip, Brace Yourself...
Note: I meant to post this earlier but Blogger went on the fritz and erased it three times. This is take four! - KH
The Vikes wrapped up week eight of practice with a spirited work out Thursday at LSHS. With seemingly half the team injured and on the sidelines in street clothes, some new faces stepped up and played with energy.
In one notable sequence during 11-on-11 offensive practice, sophomore QB Jake Nelson dropped back to pass, decided his receivers were covered, and tucked the ball and ran. About ten yards downfield, Nelson lowered his shoulder and mowed over junior linebacker Chandler Ireland, drawing a chorus of cheers and shouts of encouragement injured teammates Brandon Belcher and Arvid Isaksen.
Not to be out done, a visibly angered Ireland timed his blitz perfectly on the next snap, bucked through a would-be blocker and sprawled head-long to drop sophomore back Shae Giddens for no gain.
Although the younger players seemed to be up for the challenge, injuries to Viking veterans continued to be the story. First, the good news: despite ACL tears, seniors Brennan Frost and Garek Stuart were on the field (sporting unwieldy knee braces) and taking part in practice. Both are ready to go for tomorrow.
Here's an update on the rest of the sidelined Vikes:
- Junior Brandon Belcher, the Vikes' leading tackler, is suffering from an unspecified neck injury and his not been cleared to play at this point. His status for Friday is uncertain. Sophomore Conner Crowley subbed for Belcher at OLB.
- Senior WR Tyler Reside was back from a sickness that caused him to miss Wednesday's practice, and Reside had an excellent afternoon, catching everything thrown his way.
- Senior wide receiver/kicker Arvid Isaksen sustained a fractured foot last week and is out indefinitely. In his absence, senior punter Vasya Bogdanoff will handle kicking duties. Sophomore Quincy Carroll and senior Jaime Laurine will fill in for Isaksen at receiver.
- Senior QB/WR/S/PR Chameron Lackey confirmed he is done for the year after tearing his ACL and MCL in the third quarter of last Friday's game. Lackey will undergo surgery at some point in the near future. Senior Ross Jones and sophomores Colter Swords and Christian Gasca are likely to fill in at WR (although Gasca missed the last two days with an unspecified illness). Junior Brandon Preslar will cover Lackey's free safety spot, and sophomore Kevin Lanto was back receiving punts today. Senior WR Tyler Reside could possibly work some of the Wildcat sets at QB that Lackey excelled at.
- Senior DT Justin Grow also sustained a broken foot and is out for several weeks. Senior Josh Berg and junior Taylor Metzger both saw increased playing time last week and both played spectacularly.
- Senior tackle/defensive end Jesse Porter is reportedly done for the year. Porter has battled pneumonia and has not played or practiced since the first half of the Marysville-Pilchuck game. Senior Jordan Eckstrom has shifted to defensive end, while experienced and steady senior tackle Jason Mendel has started on the right side, with talented junior Gunnar Ecklund likely to rotate in at either tackle position as well.
- Senior captain/linebacker Alex Moon has an MRI scheduled tomorrow on his injured knee - ligament damage is possible. Moon is out for tomorrow. Sophomore Korey Young will slide back into the starting lineup in place of Moon.
There are probably a couple injuries I forgot. It's practically a hospital out there right now.
QB Situation -
At the beginning of the week, Coach Tri indicated that he would re-opend the QB competition between incumbent starter junior Bryson Daggett and sophomore Jake Nelson. The pair split snaps throughout the week, and while no announcement was made Thursday, I believe Daggett has reinforced his starting position at this time. This is unconfirmed.
The Road to Oak Harbor -
For those who have yet to visit Oak Harbor's Wildcat Memorial Stadium (this name always confuses me. Did the Wildcats die?), it's definitely the premier venue in Wesco football. The Wildcats often play to a capacity crowd of 5,000 plus, and tomorrow is Senior Night and Homecoming. The Wildcats have 30 seniors on the roster, so expect a long pre game.
From Lake Stevens, there are two routes to choose from - the Mukilteo Ferry or Deception Pass. I prefer Deception Pass, as ferries can be tricky on Friday afternoons. Allow 80-90 minutes for the drive, and leave early enough to enjoy the stunning views. Follow this link for driving directions.
Wildcat Memorial Stadium is located on the exposed tip of Whidbey Island and weather is always a factor. Tomorrow's game time forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-forties with 20 mph winds and a fifty percent chance of rain. Dress accordingly.
Notebook: Gov. Chris Gregoire officially designated Friday "Purple and Gold Day" throughout the State in honor of Husky Homecoming. Yes, even in Pullman....It just so happens that purple and gold are the colors of both your Lake Stevens Vikings and the Oak Harbor Wildcats, so sport your colors to work and if anyone gives you crap tell 'em to take it up with the Gov...In order to avoid color confusion, the Vikings have elected to wear white uniform tops with Vegas Gold pants for the first time this season...Senior Brennan Frost needs 270 yards to pass the 1,000 yard mark for the season. The last Viking to achieve this was LSHS all-time leading rusher Isaac Molstre, who topped the grand plateau three years ago....Frost was named a captain to replace injured Chameron Lackey...Senior Ross Jones will serve as the fourth captain tomorrow...The Vikes will clinch second or better in conference with a win tomorrow. The Vikes need either one win or an Oak Harbor loss over the final two weeks to guarantee a playoff berth (Wesco gets three spots). The Vikes, for many reasons, would prefer not to finish third: the third place team opens at #1 Skyline.