2013 Football preview: Young team to fill graduated gaps

De%27Antay+Williams+%28%2713%29+and+Erik+Anderson+%28%2713%29+tackle+an+Archbishop+Mitty+Monarch+in+game+last+year.+These+two+graduated+seniors+make+up+the+group+of+16+whose+gaps+the+Vikings+look+to+fill+in+the+2013+season.

Grant Shorin

De'Antay Williams ('13) and Erik Anderson ('13) tackle an Archbishop Mitty Monarch in game last year. These two graduated seniors make up the group of 16 whose gaps the Vikings look to fill in the 2013 season.

Zoe Bhargava, Staff Writer

After last year’s first round CCS playoff loss to the Serra Padres, the Paly football team looks to fill the gaps of its graduated seniors with both its returning players and new, younger additions to the team. In addition to new players, the Vikings will also be playing in a newly built stadium, which finished construction this summer.

With the loss of 16 seniors, this year’s team is looking to fill the places of key offensive and defensive players of last year.

“Spencer Drazovich (‘13), [Justin and Jayshawn] Gates-Mouton (‘13) and Matt Tolbert (‘13) were all key losses,” head coach Earl Hansen said.

Quarterback Keller Chryst (’14) echoed Hansen’s words when voicing what the team would miss this year.

“We’re going to miss Spencer [Drazovich] in both his leadership and skill,” Chryst said.

Despite the numerous graduated seniors, the Vikings are optimistic that their young team can perform well.

“We’re a much younger team this year,” Hansen said. “We have eight sophomores playing, but we’re going to do the same things [as last year]. Hopefully [the team] can do as well or better [than last year].”

Malcolm Davis (’14), a third year varsity player, also voiced his confidence in the young players on the team.

“Up and coming we have a few sophomores like Justin Hull (‘16),” Davis said. “I think he’s going to contribute a lot this year; he’s gonna be good. I think this year’s team has the potential to be really good. We just have to figure out how to harness or get to our full potential every game.”

In addition to the new players on the varsity team, the Vikings will also be playing in a newly constructed stadium. Senior players voiced their excitement for the new stadium along with their hope that the stadium will bring bigger crowds than previous years.

“Hopefully we can get a bigger crowd with [the new stadium],” Chryst said. “[We want] fans always supporting us, home and away, all the way to the end. It’ll be a good time if you come out [and] support your Vikes.”

The stance on the bigger crowd in the new stadium was a consensus among many players, and all are looking forward to packed bleachers on the Friday night home games.

“[The new stadium] is awesome, but we got to fill it up,” Andrew Frick (‘14) said.

The Vikings will play their first game at home on Friday, Sept. 13 at 7p.m. against opponent San Benito High School.