PORT HENRY Theres reason for optimism this football season in Moriah.
The Vikings have 20 returning players from 2006, 13 of them playing on the varsity for a third year.
We are looking to improve on last years record, said Coach Don Tesar, whose team was 1-7 in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference action and 1-8 overall a year ago.
The returning players that we have are showing a lot of leadership and are working hard, he added. The new players that are up this year give us added depth in a lot of positions, especially at the offensive and defensive lines and secondary.
Tyler Blaise started at quarterback last season and is back, but hes being challenged for the job by Nick Slattery and Ryan Huchro in the pre-season.
Justin Slattery and Mike Brassard will line up at fullback. Keith Karkoski and Steve Owens will see time at tailback.
A wide receiver and flanker the Vikings will line up Jim Carlson, Don Tesar and Rich Larmore.
Rounding out the skill position players are Dustin Fernandez, Brennan Thierry, Mike Brassard, Chris Williams, Caleb Harvish and Tyson Fernandez.
The offensive line will feature Dave Mandy, Doug Mauran, Joe Marcotte, Nick Marcotte, Tyler French, Jason Flippo, Chase Clarke, Hayden Whalen, Caleb Armstrong, Rod Blair, Ben Gifaldi, Dan Prew, Ben Tromblee, Carl Woodard and Tim Armstrong.
The linebacking corps figures to be a strength of the Moriah defense.
Linebackers include Karkoski, Thierry, Brassard, Mauran, Tromblee, Nick Marcotte, Dustin Fernandez, Owens and Harvish.
In the secondary the Vikings will have Nick Slattery, Larmore, Carlson, Tesar, Owens, Huchro, Williams, Tyson Fernandez, Dustin Fernandez and Blaise.
The defensive line will feature Justin Slattery, Armstrong, Gifaldi, Tromblee, Mandy, Blair, Joe Marcotte, Flippo, French, Whalen, Nick Marcotte, Prew, Clarke and Woodard.
Assisting Tesar with the coaching duties are Chris Lobdell, Tom Anderson and Bill Mitchell.
Sept. 1............at AVCS Sept. 7............Seton Sept. 15...........at Beekmantown Sept. 21...........St. Lawrence Sept. 28...........at Tupper Lake Oct. 6.............at Saranac Lake Oct. 12............Ticonderoga Oct. 19............Saranac