Can you smell it in the air? While it may be a bit premature to talk serious football, Ripley coach Jimmy Frasher is in pigskin mode. Frashier is heading into his tenth season as the captain of the Viking football ship.
Ripley loses All-State selections David Hicks, Anthony Michael and Jamin Jones to graduation. The Vikings also must replace last season’s signal caller Tyler Casto
Ripley looks to improve on its (3-7) campaign of 2011 and will have to do so in the rugged Mountain State Athletic Conference.
Coach Frasher is excited about the talent at his disposal. While relatively young at some positions, the team as a whole has left a good impression on its leader.
“We have some kids who have put in the extra work in the off-season and dedicated themselves to being better ball players. This group of offensive linemen could be the best that I have had in my time here,” said Frashier.
The Vikes must replace Hicks as the primary ball carrier. Junior to be Trevor Tucker has emerged as the team’s quarterback. Tucker stood out for Coach Casto’s baseball squad as a talented young hurler on the pitching mound this spring.
“Trevor does a lot of things well. He has a strong arm and is a bright young man that can process the information he is given,” added Frashier.
Ripley looks to expand on its spread offensive attack and throw the ball more than it has in recent seasons. The Vikings are adding some offensive minded coaches to the mix that will be introduced after final Board of Education approval.
The Vikings will be primarily running it’s defensive schemes out of a 3-4 where it can put standout-returning linebackers Austin Hall and Tyler Pittenger in position to make plays. Jake Martin, Preston Martin and Nathan Tucker are also expected to be defensive stalwarts for the Vikes, among others.
The Viking special teams units will be operating without kicker/punter Jamin Jones on the roster. Coach Frashier is optimistic about how his new kicking game is coming along and plans to employ Ripley’s successful “soccer style” punting formations which allow tacklers ample time to get down field to pounce the opposition’s return men.
Paul Lively and Easton Berry have been sharpening their kicking game in the off-season and look to make the Viking special teams unit an efficient one.
“We have a deep roster that will allow us to play a lot of kids and we won’t have many going both ways
(offense and defense) which isn’t always the case,” said Frashier.
If Frashier’s youthful enthusiasm for the game he loves is any indication of the upcoming season, the
Page 2 of 2 - Ripley squad should provide some offensive sparks and be a fun team to follow in 2012.