ONA – It may only be summer, and it may not count in the record book, but the Ripley Vikings will take the victories wherever they can get them.  The Vikings went 5-3 over the weekend at the Cabell Midland 7-on-7 challenge, which included some of Ripley’s toughest conference opponents.  

“It was a great ending to our summer football camp,” said Viking head coach David Tennant, “Our 7-on-7 and big man squads went out and competed against some of very good programs and held our own.”

The Vikings faced teams from George Washington, Cabell Midland, Ravenswood, and Wayne and finished in the final four of the tournament.  Although Tennant was happy with the results, he was more pleased with the way his players competed.

“That’s mainly what I wanted to see, how our boys reacted when challenged,” Tennant said, “I was very impressed with the way we stepped up.”

Viking assistant Justin Johnson coached the linemen in the “big man” portion of the tournament, and was also pleased with what he saw.

“I saw a lot of positive things, and I saw a lot of things we need to work on,” Johnson said, “We need to be in better shape come august and we need to get tougher. But I saw a lot of potential for us to reach those goals. My guys didn’t quit and they didn’t complain. They fought to the end and they were coachable. I was proud of them. I am very excited to get started in August.”

With the conclusion of the tournament, the Vikings are now one step closer to the real season.  They will continue workouts through July, and Tennant hopes that his players get used to the winning feeling they experienced at the tournament.

“It was a good tournament,” concluded Tennant, “I know 7-on-7 doesn’t translate much into football in August, but we need to get used to winning because the feeling does get contagious.”

The Vikings held a youth football camp yesterday, and will continue drills and workouts until full practices begin in early August.  Look for more coverage of Viking football in future editions of Jackson Newspapers.