GENEVA – Three short bursts of whistles indicated the end of the second day of pads in the new era of Geneva football.
The smiles coming off of players’ faces after breaking for a post-practice team huddle all but indicated Viking football – enthusiasm and all – is on the ascent.
”This week has been great. It’s been great to get the pads out,” Geneva coach Boone Thorgesen said. “The kids have been enthused and ready to go. When they’re doing that, it’s fun. We’re having fun and that‘s the big thing this summer: Get better [and] have fun…anytime we’re out there, it’s an opportunity to get better and we’re going to take full advantage of that.”
Thorgesen is in his first season as varsity head coach following Rob Wicinski’s retirement after 21 years at the helm of the Vikings.
The most rewarding part thus far?
”Just being out here and playing football,” Thorgesen said. “And, having the kids work and see the lightbulb switch [on] a little bit. I told the kids at the beginning of camp: Summer camp is one of my favorite [times] because you get to see all the hard work you put in the offseason. Even though it was five, six seven weeks, I get to see the growth [they] made in that short time and you get to see that out on the field.
”We’ve seen a lot of guys pop early on that used those seven weeks to get better in the weight room, get faster and stronger. That’s exciting and as coaches, we want to see [that].”
The Vikings return both quarterbacks in Alex Porter and Jackson Reyes that rotated at times throughout the shortened six-week spring season. Both will likely continuing competing for the starting job during the offseason.
Porter, who threw for 379 yards and four touchdowns last season, balanced playing lacrosse in the final weeks of the season.
”Alex is a lead by example guy, so he’s at everything,” Thorgesen said. “It’s a lot of our guys, not just Alex, it’s our [players who also compete in] baseball, lacrosse, track. A lot of these guys didn’t have much of a summer. Sometimes, that’s good: You don‘t think; You just go out and play and be kids and compete. You don’t know any better. This is what it is. This is how it used to be for all these guys that played three sports back in the day.”
Reyes wasn’t far behind with 288 yards and two touchdowns in his opportunities this past spring. Concept and play install has been an adjustment for all players in the early going of camp.
“It’s been [going] well,” Reyes said. Coaches are coaching it up well. We’re learning. We’re taking time. We’re not going to rush everything. We’ve been taking our time.”
”Running against our defense [has been fun],” Reyes continued. “Running our plays [and] trying to get better.”
“It’s all new stuff, so you got to find a way to keep everyone [engaged]…we’re all having fun out there. I like everyone on the team. We have no problems. When you go out there and play, we’re working hard, but we‘re with our friends so it makes a great dynamic,” Porter said.
Learning new terminology for the offense has been part of that adjustment.
”It’s the same idea, but the wording is different for a lot of the stuff,” Porter said.
Source: The Daily Chronicle