Our High School Football Preview Tour continues to roll on.
The Meridian Media sports staff is previewing the 2021 season, venturing to different parts of central Kansas.
The latest stop was in Lindsborg, home to the Smoky Valley Vikings.
For the second straight season, Smoky Valley finished with a 3-6 record. However, one of those games was quite eventful. Head coach Tim Lambert recorded his 200th victory last fall. Coach Lambert is back for his sixth season with the Vikings, 28th overall, with six starters returning on both sides of the ball.
Coach Lambert is known for running the football and he has options for 2021. Junior fullback Trystan Stambaugh is the returning leading rusher, accumulating 431 yards and four touchdowns. Kade Blanchat and Justice Autry are both expected to carry the ball at tailback.
The offensive line will rely heavily on juniors Justin Holt and Max Bieker. To help with the blocking will be senior tight end Haven Lysell-Stewart. When the Vikings throw the football, he often comes up with the catch, hauling in 16 receptions for 171 yards. Junior receiver Braxton House can also catch the ball.
Lysell-Stewart is a name to know on the defensive side. He recorded 70 tackles at linebacker in 2020. Junior Luke Sharp will join him at LB.
Stambaugh was tough to block at defensive end last season. He finished with four sacks. Holt will be the opposite end for the Vikings. Blanchat is the top guy at defensive back.
The Vikings have a small senior class. However, the juniors played a ton of varsity ball as sophomores. They are bigger and stronger than a year ago. Some other younger individuals will need to step up to fill some holes, but the Vikings are looking forward to taking the next step back to a winning season in 2021.
2021 Smoky Valley Vikings Football Schedule (all kickoff times slated for 7 pm w/games on 95.5 The Rock & ksal.com):
Sept. 3 – at Halstead
Sept. 10 – at Haven
Sept. 17 – Hillsboro
*Sept. 24 – at Colby
*Oct. 1 – Goodland
*Oct. 8 – Scott City
*Oct. 15 – at Southeast of Saline
*Oct. 22 – Russell
Oct. 29 – PLAYOFFS
*Denotes 3A District 6 game
Day 1: Abilene Cowboys
Day 2: Bennington Bulldogs
Day 3: Ellsworth Bearcats
Day 4: Solomon Gorillas
Day 5: Smoky Valley Vikings
Day 6: Minneapolis Lions (on Aug. 23)
Day 7: Southeast of Saline Trojans (on Aug. 24)
Day 8: Ell-Saline Cardinals (on Aug. 25)
Day 9: Sacred Heart Knights (on Aug. 26)
Day 10: Salina South Cougars (on Aug. 27)
Day 10: Salina Central Mustangs (on Aug. 27)