Numbers game: Vikings take on Tigers for opener with more than twice the players

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 31, 2018

This year’s team isn’t the biggest Dee Faircloth has ever had at Vidalia High School, but it’s up there.

With 65 players on the roster, Faircloth said he’s pleased to see so many players showing up in his second season back as head coach.

“I’ve had 70 and 80 before, but this is a big group,” he said. “It’s one of the signs we are getting our program back together.

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“It means that we have a lot of kids participating and that’s what it’s all about. We want to give every kid out here that we can and let them play.”

When the Vikings begin their season tonight by hosting Sicily Island, they will face a team of just 25 players. Faircloth said, however, that doesn’t mean anything.

“We can only put 11 out there at one time,” he said. “It kind of evens things out, but it’s going to be a tough ball game.

“I think they have a good team this year and will go far in the playoffs. It’ll be a test. They aren’t called the Fighting Tigers for nothing.”

On the other hand, Sicily Island coach Donald Money is doing his best to watch out for his players.

“I know they can’t outnumber us on the field, but I know there will be fresh jerseys for them,” he said. “I’m looking for them to play a good game. We just want to let Vidalia know we were there.

“Hopefully we can keep everyone safe and healthy. If conditioning means anything, they are in good shape.”

After last week’s jamboree, Money said he is mainly trying to cut down on penalties, eliminate pass coverage mistakes and becoming more aggressive with linebackers.

If the Tigers do that, Money will be happy, he said.

“I think this team is stronger than last year. They have been working hard on the weight room,” Money said. “They are excited about getting started.”

If Faircloth could have anything, he said he hopes the Vikings stay consistent.

“We need to catch footballs, maintain our blocks and wrap up when we are tackling,” he said.

Kickoff at Vidalia is set for 7 p.m.