Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 | 9:35 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer go through the schedule and discuss all of Saturday's games after looking back at the major topics to come out of the first two weeks of football.
Like many coaches, Valley High’s Marcus Sherman had an idea what his first class of upperclassmen would look like.
He’s entering his third season at the helm of the Vikings’ football program, and the players who started off when he first took over the program as freshmen and sophomores have grown up into juniors and seniors.
With that in mind, Sherman is expecting his team to take the next step: make the postseason.
“The time is now,” said Sherman, whose freshman team went 8-1 three years ago. “We need to get it done. We’re all on the same page.”
San Diego State commit Noble Hall, who changed his name from Eric Burrell earlier this year, is the unquestioned leader of the team.
He’s expected to play both ways, despite committing to the Aztecs as a defensive end.
“He’s willing to help out where he’s needed,” Sherman said. “We just use him as an example. … He’s been a great inspiration. He’s shown what it takes (to play at the next level). He’s been a leader for us, and he’s working extremely hard, and the other kids have some ideas and set goals for themselves.”
Hall will line up at tight end, and Sherman pointed out that Hall was originally getting college looks at the position but some teams brought up concerns about his height.
“(Some coaches said they) think he’s too short to play tight end,” Sherman said, despite Hall being 6-foot-4. “We pumped him up as a defensive end and linebacker.”
Hall may not be the only defensive player on the Vikings to play in college.
Sherman noted that junior defensive tackle Jason Johnson and senior linebacker DeMarrius Oliver are getting a few looks.
They’re also a pair of players who have been around the program long enough to know Sherman's expectations.
“They’re familiar with what we expect of them,” Sherman said. “They’re going to be a big part of the team.”
Sherman plans on running a pro-style offense, despite losing quarterback Kennedy Williams to graduation.
Aside from Hall catching passes, sophomore running backs Charlie Winters and Amari Tatum will carry a bulk of the rushing load.
“I expect (the offense) to be productive,” Sherman said. “We have two good running backs. We expect to move the ball consistently and have multiple formations.”
Though the players have been in the program for multiple seasons, Sherman knows that a playoff spot isn’t guaranteed, especially in a division featuring some of the area’s more consistent programs.
“We’re going to have to beat a team that we haven’t beaten,” Sherman said. “We’ve won a few games. We’re OK, but in order to make the playoffs we have to beat winning programs.”