After finishing last season with their only loss in the state championship football game, the Arlee Warriors are looking for redemption. Head Coach Todd Yocum is hoping the younger players can step up and take on the challenge.
“We lost seven of the top eight players from last year,” Yocum said. “We are really relying on the few returners we have to be leaders for the younger class.”
Senior Tyler Tanner and junior George Shick are two of the returners Yocum is hoping to fill leadership roles.
“Tanner is our only returning All-State player and he will be our quarterback this year,” Yocum said. The Warriors ended their 2015 season with an impressive 11-1 record and will be using the winning record as a goal for the upcoming season.
“We are a young team this year,” Yocum said. “Early in the season we will be working on getting our younger guys experience.” Despite lack of experience, Yocum is impressed with what he has seen during early season practices.
“I am excited to see how the season goes,” Yocum said. “Our younger guys are athletic; we just need to get them out on the field.”
This past weekend the Warriors traveled to Plains for their first game of the season. Warrior’s Tyler Tanner was the deciding factor during the game. Tanner scored six touchdowns for Arlee and helped the Warriors beat Plains 60-42.
The Arlee Warriors will host Flint Creek on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.
FAIRVIEW – In his seventh year as the Head Coach for the Charlo Vikings, Mike Krahn has never had less than 20 players out for the team. With only 19 athletes in uniform, Krahn’s biggest concern is begin able to play a full game with limited numbers.
“We are trying to find a nucleus of kids that can play,” Krahn said. “I want to be able to have two deep in every position so we can really have some depth.”
On top of a small numbered team, the Charlo Vikings lost six of their eight starters from last years’ squad.
“We lost a large percentage of our team from last year,” Krahn said. “We are really young this year and don’t have that much experience.”
Despite lack of upperclassman, Krahn was impressed with their first game of the season against Fairview on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Although Fairview struck first in the second quarter, Charlo quarterback Landers Smith answered with an 11-yard pass to Garett Vaughan for their first six points, followed by a 2-point conversion. Smith scored two more times in the second on short runs and opened the third quarter scoring on a 54-yard TD return. Smith continued to dominate in the final quarter with three more touchdown runs to take the lead, but Fairview scored in the final seconds to seal the victory.
Although the Vikings lost to Fairview 52-54, Krahn is excited about how the younger athletes played. “I was able to throw kids in for their first game and trust they would play well,” Krahn said.
“I was worried at first, but they proved themselves. Our kids played well, we are just not gameshape ready yet.”
The Vikings will play their first home game on Friday, Sept. 2 against Plains at 7 p.m. Results Charlo 0 24 6 22 - 52 Fairview 0 30 8 16 - 54