Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Viking football wants to be physical

By Clint Dick/Herald Staff Writer | 8/28/2013

The Vikings are no strangers when the state football playoffs roll around. The key is getting past the first round.

Central Heights has not made a playoff run in a few years.

The Vikings are no strangers when the state football playoffs roll around. The key is getting past the first round.

Central Heights has not made a playoff run in a few years.

“We’ve made the playoffs six or seven years in a row,” Central Heights coach Kent Schulte said. “As far as a team goal, we would like to advance past the first round of the playoffs.”

Schulte enters his third season the Vikings coach. Last year, Central Heights was district runner-up thanks to a 38-13 shellacking of Osage City in a district game. The Vikings would not make it much farther than that, falling in the opening round of the state playoffs at Humboldt 48-6, and finishing with a 4-6 overall record.

“Last season we were terribly inconsistent,” Schulte said. “I felt like we were better than 4-6, but we didn’t play like it.”

Schulte said one of the biggest issues was the team needed to be more physical, which will be a goal for this season.

“I think we want to be a more physical team,” he said. “We struggled a lot with teams that had good team speed. We are trying some things defensively to change our look.”

The team returns four starters each on offense and defense. The biggest switch this season comes at the quarterback position where senior Jordan Horstick will make the start after playing wide receiver last year.

“It is a pretty new position to him,” Schulte said.

Experience will be key for many players along the Viking offensive and defensive line. Tyler Hendron, senior offensive/defensive lineman, returns as a key anchor on the line.

“We’ve got big expectations for (Tyler),” Schulte said.

Tanner Erhart, senior tight end and defensive end, and Jacob Anderson, junior offensive lineman and linebacker, also bring experience on both sides of the ball.

“(Tanner) has got a chance to be a real special player for us,” Schulte said. “(Jacob) was our top performer in the weight room this summer.”

While experience is evident up front, the Vikings have a new faces in the backfield this year. Jacob Pryor, sophomore running back, gets the start, Schulte said.

“We are going to ask a lot of him,” he said. “We hope he can step up.”

Central Heights opens their football season at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at home against Jayhawk-Linn.

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