Fourteen players were on the Eureka Vandals football team last season, and they have 14 again this year, at least at the time of this writing, and looking to do as well or better that before.
Coach Fred Minoletti, entering his fifth year, has had the boys on the practice field for a couple of weeks, doing conditioning, running through plays, suiting up in pads and helmets.
Senior quarterback C.W. Landry is expected to be one of the main players for the Vandals. He was the MVP of the east conference of the 1A Northern league last season with a quarterback rating of about 94 percent. Unofficially, he was also the leading rusher on the team.
In addition, junior Garett Todd will be a key man in the backfield as a linebacker on defense.
And Minoletti said they have pretty good freshman class coming in. “Pretty good players to watch.”
Offensively, “We will run mostly out of the power-I offense,” he said, “but we’ll mix it up and do some other things, too. We’re pretty excited for the season to begin. I think we’re going to have a pretty good year and be pretty competitive in our conference. We had a good first week of camp and everybody feels pretty positive and excited.”
As noted earlier, four of the Vandals first five games are on the road, beginning Aug. 26 at Smith Valley. The only home game in that set is against Coleville Sept. 1. The final non-league game is at Whittell Sept. 8, followed by the start of league play, at Wells Sept. 15, a bye week Sept. 22, then at Carlin Sept. 29.
The games and Wells and Carlin are part of the Touchdowns Against Cancer program sponsored by St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Each September, high school football teams across America are pledging funds to St. Jude to fight childhood cancer with each touchdown scored.