Football 2019 Season Preview

Jamir+Shepard+catching+a+pass+in+game+vs+Menlo+Atherton+that+ended+in+a+17-10+loss.
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Football 2019 Season Preview

Jamir Shepard catching a pass in game vs Menlo Atherton that ended in a 17-10 loss.

Jamir Shepard catching a pass in game vs Menlo Atherton that ended in a 17-10 loss.

Jamir Shepard catching a pass in game vs Menlo Atherton that ended in a 17-10 loss.

Jamir Shepard catching a pass in game vs Menlo Atherton that ended in a 17-10 loss.

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Dominating in the season prior, the Vikings look to add to their success and overcome the challenge of replacing their star quarterback, Jackson Chryst (‘19). Last season, the Vikings finished with an outstanding record of 10-2, including a win against state champions, McClymonds. The team’s season ended in a devastating loss to next-door neighbor Menlo Atherton with a final score of 17-7. 

The Vikings look to replace Jackson Chryst, the graduated quarterback, from last year. Chryst finished his final season with a whopping 31 passing touchdowns as well as 3 on the ground. To replace Chryst, Coach Gifford plans to put Kevin Cullen, last year’s safety, under center. 

“It’s pretty big shoes to fill, based off Jackson Chryst’s final season and the fact that he is going to Oregon State to play football,” Cullen said. “It’s something I got to live up too, I think our talent on offense is incredible this year and I’m looking forward to it.”

Although the team is going to lose Chryst, they return with a strong senior class which includes star wide-out Jamir Shepard. Last season, Shepard totaled 19 touchdowns and 1074 yards through the air. Shepard recently announced his commitment to play football at Fresno State University in the Fall of 2020 via Instagram Live. 

“Being a leader on the team is a big part, and coming to Fresno State you gotta have that same mentality,” Shepard said. 

The team hopes to add on from last year’s success, especially second-year head coach Nelson Gifford. Gifford was able to turn around the Palo Alto football program in just one year. Before Gifford arrived on campus, the team suffered losing records dating back to 2012. Now, Gifford hopes to maintain and improve upon this winning trend.

To start the season off, the Vikings headed to San Francisco where they faced off against Saint Ignatious on August 31st. Despite a tough loss, The Vikings plan to start the remainder of the season off with a bang – and a comeback victory – in their second game, played versus Overfelt this Friday, September 6th, at 7 PM.  

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