By: Seth Gainey
Are you ready for Friday nights? Most students would say no, but I disagree. The football team and the coaching staff has pushed their limits to turn this program around. According to Coach Ed Smolder, “Losing is the beginning of success.” If that is true the the Vikings will have a winning season. It is the second year of the Smolder era. He also stated that the team’s ultimate goal is to get a winning season, and to do that they have to take one day at a time. When junior Bradon Campbell and the team hits the field Friday night, they will do anything and everything to win. Smolder also stated that Campbell is doing great coming off his injury.
“He’s doing fine, that is behind him,” Smolder.
The younger guys are also looking forward to Friday nights to. Some of the sophomores will be excited cause they get to play. RJ Evans and Josh Kay are both sophomores and they are getting first team reps. Josh Kay is starting at cornerback, while getting reps at safety. Evans is also getting reps at tailback with the first team.
Speaking of younger guys, a freshman is making a statement and earning some older guys respect. Dalton Myers is getting reps at fullback with the first team. That was before his injury. But when he gets back on the field, the team and coaches believe he will pick up where he left off. Justin Wheeler is also making a strong statement at practice. The Jv quarterback has impressed coaches and players. He has improved majorly on his accuracy and deep throws. One of his targets at wing is Evan King, he also made a strong impression including Smolder. The sophomore wing was catching passes left and right against the first team defense. Evan also impressed during the scrimmage against Capital, and he is up there to get reps at cornerback and safety on Friday Nights.
It’s a new era for Ripley football. Ripley beat south 14-7 on Friday, August 26 at Erickson Field. It was a nail bitter and it came down to the wire. Kay stepped up huge and only allowed one catch on his side of the field. Evans followed in his footsteps and ran for a total of 93 yards. Ty Eshenaur led the offense with the ground game and had a catch threw the air that put Ripley in the red zone. I guess you could say it’s a new era for the boys in blue and white.