Valdosta Daily Times

August 28, 2012

Vikings begin preparations for Lions

Ed Hooper
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Football is back at Lowndes High School.

The Vikings officially begin their regular season Friday when they host the Luella Lions at Martin Stadium.

On Monday, the Vikings began their preparations for the Lions. Last week, Lowndes focused on itself with four practices, building on the preseason scrimmage against the Thomasville Bulldogs the previous week. Lowndes head coach Randy McPherson said the week of practice was similar to that of camp.

“We had a good week of practice,” McPherson said. “We took Friday off; we worked Monday through Thursday. It was four real physical days.”

This week, Lowndes will practice three days in pads and hold a walk through on Thursday in shorts and helmets.

When the Vikings take the field Friday night, it is still unclear what quarterback will start, although McPherson said both senior Alex Stephenson and junior Seth Carlo will play against the Lions. In the future, he hopes one player separates and grabs the starting job.

“I think both of them deserve to play. I don’t think we are settled there yet,” McPherson said. “We like both of those guys, but I look for one of those guys to separate, eventually. Right now, we are not really concerned about it. I think it is going to take two quarterbacks to make the kind of run we want to make.”

While the Vikings were off last week, four teams from Region 1-AAAAAA were in action. Colquitt County and Camden County each participated in the Corky Kell Kickoff Classic at the Georgia Dome on Saturday. When asked if he watched the games, McPherson said he was in attendance and that he came away impressed with both teams, saying both are “strong’ teams.

Colquitt County lost to North Gwinnett on a field goal on the last play of the game, while Camden County shutout Peachtree Ridge, 42-0.

Heavy rain from Tropical Storm Isaac could impact this week’s preparations. If heavy rain soaks the field too much, the Vikings will move their practices into the school’s basketball gymnasium.

“With as much room as we have down there in the gym, we can go through the practice schedule,” said McPherson,         indicating the rain won’t be a factor for the Vikings.

The first week of the regular season brings a lot of excitement around the Viking program. Since McPherson took over in 2002, Lowndes is 9-1 in season openers.

“It definitely is going to be more exciting this week,” McPherson said. “This is what we have been waiting for since we got started. Things will pick up a little bit.”

Something that isn’t worrying McPherson this week is whether his players will be too excited for the game and will become unfocused.

“They’re going to be fired up,” McPherson said. “This team has done a really good job practicing since the middle of June. We feel like we are ready to play. We feel like we are ready to execute; definitely ready to see where we are at.”

Lowndes and Luella meet Friday night at Martin Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. Lowndes football can be heard all season long on 99.5 FM.

The Coach Randy McPherson Coach’s Show, with hosts Wes James and Bill Osbourne, airs Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. The show is broadcast live from the Holiday Inn Express on W. Hill Ave.