PRIDE, La. (WAFB) - Sportsline Summer Camp on Thursday, June 20, took us on a visit with the Northeast Vikings and veteran head coach Dave Masterson.
He and the Vikings were active on the 7-on-7 circuit this summer, gearing up for the 2019 season and the 30th year of Sportsline Friday Nite.
Masterson said a key to his program’s success over the years is stability. One of his assistant coaches has been on the staff 20 years and another for 17.
There will be a new face at quarterback, though. All-district free safety Darren Taylor is stepping behind center as a junior. Taylor will get help up front from a veteran offensive line.
Over the years, Northeast has struggled in September and October, but when November rolls around, that’s when the Vikings feel like they play their best football.
“It’s a philosophy we have at Northeast and that’s we are going to play up in classification," said Masterson. “We’re going to play 4As, we’re going to play 5As, we’re going to scrimmage those teams. It doesn’t hurt us power point-wise because we’re playing up two or three classifications, but it gets your kids to perform at a higher level. They know what it takes. And since 2000, the last 20 seasons Zachary just passed us in playoff victories and that’s because Brewerton has done a great job in the last four years and I think we were number two. And people don’t realize we have more playoff victories than every other EBR school combined and that’s just because of the philosophy of taking some whippings early on but it’s going to pay off down the road.”
Taylor and his receivers are participating in 7-on-7s this summer to get their timing and chemistry down. The quarterback will have a big bonus in front of him, as Northeast’s entire offensive line, five juniors, is back.
“That’s a rarity in high school football to return all five and the great news is they’re all five juniors, so hopefully, we’ll return all five the following year, too,” Masterson added.
“I feel like they’re going to be able to protect the quarterback, knowing he’s coming in his first year being quarterback," said senior defensive end Trevor Stovall. "Last year, they did alright.”
What about the run blocking? They covering up the holes?
“Oh yeah, yeah, they were doing that a lot last year,” Stovall replied.