Vail Christian 8-man football gearing up for the season
Keeping it simple and complex
Yes, you’re just crossing the street — technically, U.S. Highway 6 — from Vail Christian High School to the grass field adjacent to St. Clare of Assisi, but it is a little bit of time travel.
Maybe, it’s being near the St. Clare gym, where Vail Christian volleyball and basketball toiled through the 2007-08 school year — the Saints have played more seasons in the “new” gym north of Highway 6? Wow. Maybe, it’s practicing on a grass field, kind of rare in these parts.
And then you see Vail Christian 8-man football preparing to run the single-wing. Yep, that really takes you back in time.
“In life, keeping it simple is what it’s about,” Saints coach Tim Pierson said. “And if you can’t keep it simple, we overcomplicate things. That ties over into football. We want to execute well and have answers to what we see. Keep it simple.”
In theory, the single-wing is a simple old-school offense, which would be perfect for a team that saw nine seniors, no small number for a school of Vail Christian’s size, graduate. Yet, as basic as the offense is, last year’s Saints (10-1) showed how much one can do out of a supposedly simple set.
Pierson, now the grizzled dean of local football coaches (first season, 2004), diplomatically called his squad “raw and new.” That’s a fair assessment, yet this year’s Saints really don’t care. They’re just pumped to be playing.
“I personally am super-excited to be out here,” junior Vinny Nowicki said. “Just with everything that is going on, it’s nice not to be dealing with everything. We’ve got a lot of kids coming out. It should be a fun time.”
And if you’re scoring at home, Vinny is Nowicki No. 3 of six. Being someone’s older or younger sibling is almost required at Vail Christian.
And leave it to the kids to remind us that not everyone graduated. Slater O’Brien was ripping off names of teammates with experience.
“I think we have some really good players who have been there,” he said. “We have the JV. We have Reece (Kohrmann) and Eddy (Palacios) and me and Vinny. We all know what to do and how to translate it to the team.”
Point taken, Mr. O’Brien.
Will the Saints match the success of last year? It’s way too early to tell. Do they have promise? Absolutely. The Northwest is a good league, but it ain’t the SEC.
As Pierson and company figure out who goes where, the Saints figure to be in the mix with the likes of West Grand and Soroco, not that anyone wearing blue and silver tracks those games.
As much as Vail Christian football takes you back in time, it also looks forward.
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