By Brandon Richardson / Managing editor
Spirits are running high on the gridiron at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
In spite of a 4-6 record last season and the loss of 17 players going on to universities, the Viking football team is preparing for a big season with plenty of optimism.
Kenny Potter, 20, a sophomore and starting quarterback, said, “As a team, we have high expectations. We have a lot of talent returning, we have a season under our belt and I think that’s going to help us a lot coming in.”
With the season starting on Sept. 6, the team is showing no signs of easing up on their preparations.
Daylon Cason, 20, a sophomore and defensive back, said, “This year the team is shaping up like we want it to. It looks great. We’re really a different team now. Our whole mindset is different, our whole swagger is different.”
However, with the brawl at the end of last season, it was unclear what fallout would be felt at the beginning of the upcoming season.
Viking coach Brett Peabody said, “The way it ended, it embarrassed us as a program, it embarrassed our college and we’re not proud of that. Granted, were we all to blame? No. But we were all accountable for the actions we had in that situation. We’re dealing with some serious repercussions from it. Fortunately, we don’t have a post-season ban, but there are several players who will miss one or two games to start the season.”
Peabody would not give the names of the suspended players out of respect for their privacy, but joked that it will become apparent who they are once the season begins and they are not on the field.
He went on to say, “This year our goal is, at minimum, to get a bowl. Hopefully win the conference title and hopefully play for a state championship. We don’t put the cart before the horse, we’re focused on the process right now.”
But despite the minor setbacks, the team, as well as the coaching staff, is pumped and ready to show that all their blood, sweat and tears will pay off with a great season.
De’Quan Hampton, 20, a wide receiver, committed to attend USC, said, “I feel that the first game is really going to say what we’re going to do for the rest of the season. So we just have to come out strong and just do our thing.”
The Vikings will kick off their season hosting Moorpark at 6 p.m. Saturday, September 6 at Veterans Stadium.