Season preview: Vikings football is young and hungry


DVC football looks to improve on the 2016 team’s 5-6 record.

Cole Jackson, Staff Member

For some, 2016 was a year of great starts with horrible finishes. For example: if you’re a Raiders fan, the season started amazingly. But when Derek Carr went down, so did the season’s outlook. Similarly, the DVC Vikings football team (5-6) looked great, starting the season with a record of 5-2 only to lose the final three season games and their lone postseason game. The Vikings defense went from giving up 289 yards per game in September to a whopping 373 yards per game in October.

Great start, horrible ending.

But the good thing about bad endings is you can learn from them, most of the time. This upcoming season, however, isn’t one of those times. With 13 defensive players getting scholarships last year, there are a lot of holes in the defense that head coach Mike Darr pointed out. It’s “open competition” for the defensive starters as the team prepares for their September 2 game at American River.

“This is a unique year where we don’t have a lot of returning students (on defense); it’s hard to say how do we…fix what happened last year because it’s almost a completely different team.” But Coach Darr didn’t hesitate to praise this year’s team.

“We’re more athletic, we’re bigger up front and we have tremendous playmakers,” a confident Darr said. He calls his team a “young team that’s talented, but untested,”  and while they have great playmakers, “they haven’t played for us…together.”

“We’ve got a whole bunch of new faces that we’re still trying to learn a lot about,” Darr said. He gave high praise to wide receiver Dylan Alves and cornerbacks Antwuin Prowes and Dieontae Malan, referring to them as players we should keep our eyes on.  

When asked about team chemistry, Darr replied: “We do everything we can (in the spring and summer) to build a family atmosphere.” Darr said they have competitions in the locker room and classroom, team building exercises and dunk contests. “The team can’t work out if we don’t get along,” one player said.

“We’re here for each other; we make each other better,” said safety Tui Pulu.

Team chemistry isn’t a problem for Pulu, linebackers Charles Lee and Rondell Lee-Thomas and offensive lineman Jared Filbert as they talked and laughed for a few moments after their interviews. The subject was what they’d buy if they won the $356 million dollar lottery that a Minnesota woman won on August 24.

Players are excited for the season to start, even though as Lee-Thomas says, “no one knows who’s starting.” The Vikings start the season September 2 on the road at American River. The game starts at 6 p.m.