SPORTSLINE SUMMER CAMP: Northeast Vikings
PRIDE, La. (WAFB) - The crew rounds out week six of Sportsline Summer Camp by visiting the Northeast Vikings for stop No. 42.
The calendar is heading into the last week of July and everyone is still asking the same question and it doesn’t matter if it is high school or college.
Are we going to have football this fall?
“People come to you and they say, ‘What are we going to do?’ and they think you have some sort of secret knowledge,” said Northeast head coach David Masterson. “You know, that you have some kind of magic ball or crystal ball that you can look at and say, ‘Here’s what’s going to happen.’ Let me break the news to you. I don’t know either and anybody out there who tells you they know, they’re lying to you. None of us know. And, it does make it very difficult, because I’ve got players in there, in the weight room right now, and I don’t know what to tell them.”
What Masterson can tell us is what his team needs to be doing right now.
“These guys have got to work out, they’ve got to run, they’ve got to lift. They have to prepare as if they’re going against the Baker Buffaloes week one on September 7th. If that doesn’t happen, then we’ll go from there. But I know out here at Northeast, we’re going to prepare as if we’re playing game one,” he explained.
Although there’s been no spring and limits on workouts, star defensive back Darren “DJ” Taylor has a year under his belt after taking on the quarterback role as a junior. And despite a 2-8 finish for 2019, it was a young bunch that returns nearly intact with 19 of a possible 22 starters back.
DJ, who wears No. 1, can count on AJ Stokes, who wears No. 2, and shares the backfield as a running back and receiving option.
”I felt in my heart of hearts, even two years ago, that this was going to be one of our better teams. Even when we did the schedule, we set it up so that this year, we would actually have eight home games, which is very rare in high school to do but I felt we were going to have ... we were returning all 11 on offense. We were returning eight on defense. You have every single person back. When does that ever happen?” Masterson asked.
“It’s nice to play at home,” said Taylor. “Everybody that you know comes out to see you play, supports you. The best feeling ever.”
“We played a lot on the road last year, so they scheduled it how they schedule it,” added Stokes. “It really ain’t up to us.”
Masterson’s players said they love their coach and laugh at his jokes. Despite returning 19 of 22 starters, Masterson emphatically declined to brag about individuals who only won a pair of games in 2019.
“It’s not like baseball. You could have a dominant pitcher and everybody else sucks but that pitcher can dominate the plate and you could win a ton of games because you had a great pitcher. Football ... a running back does not get a yard without five O-linemen in front of him, not a single yard. Quarterback does not complete a pass unless he’s got receivers catching the ball. And, it is the ultimate in a team sport, so they say, ‘Well, what’s your one player?’ Well, here’s my player. My player is 11 guys on offense. No names, no nothing - 11 guys doing what they’re expected to do and representing Northeast High and the Northeast Vikings the way we expect them to do it,” Masterson explained.
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