Viking O-line should provide foundation for success in 2009Heading into 2009, the Vikes graduate the best offensive lineman in the conference, two-time All Conference tackle Sean Stickney, and also lose a versatile team leader in (and Honorable Mention All Wesco T/C) Zach Teuber.
Despite these losses, an early look at the roster seems to indicate that offensive line may be the Vikes’ strongest position group. Ask ten coaches what the biggest indicator of success is for a football team, and ten coaches will tell you it’s the ability to control the line of scrimmage. Sure, an All State QB is nice, but the QB needs time to pass, and needs to be able to hand the ball off every now and then.
The 2009 Vikings return three starters along the offensive line, including a guard, a blindside tackle and a center. This luxury will allow Coach Tom Tri to slowly break in a new QB if necessary, leaning on a run game until the intricacies of the passing game are picked up.
With that said, let’s take a look at just how set the Vikes are at the offensive line for 2009:
LT Jesse Porter 2. Kody Dinh/Sean McChord
Senior Jesse Porter joined the Vikes after week four and immediately carved out a starting spot on both sides of the ball. Before the junior arrived, Bo Dickinson had pulled me aside and said “Watch out for this kid - he’s a beast!”. Porter is strong and has the athletic feet required of a tackle. Porter replaces Stickney at perhaps the most important position on the squad - the blindside tackle.
If Porter goes down, junior Kody Dinh, and senior Sean McChord wait in the wings.
G Jordan Eckstrom 2. Alex Moon 3. Nick Bonnell
Senior Jordan Eckstrom started every game at guard last season, bringing a wealth of leadership and ability to the guard position.
Senior Alex Moon clocked some varsity time as well, and excelled on the practice field. Junior Nick Bonnell is in the picture as well.
C Kalena Richardson 2. Spencer Smith
Senior Kalena Richardson is a returning starter at center and an early favorite for All Wesco honors. The Archbishop Murphy transfer struggled with the shotgun snap at times, but is a dominant physical force. The Vikes will count on the quiet Hawaiian to anchor the line.
Junior Spencer Smith suited up as a sophomore and should prove to be a capable understudy.
G Garrick Stuart /Alex Moon 3. Nick Bonnell
Seniors Garrick Stuart and Alex Moon will likely battle for a starting position unless a talented underclassman enters the picture, which is quite likely.
RT Jason Mendel 2. Kody Dinh/Sean McChord
Senior Jason Mendel clocked varsity time on both sides of the ball, but is the least experienced of the two tackles on the 2009 Viking line. He is out of the Sean Stickney mold - tall, rangy, and quick on his feet.
Kody Dinh and Sean McChord back up both tackle positions.
Up next: Defensive backfield.