Skill Positioned Spring – Vikings back in training
Rob Grubbs/The Newnan Times-Herald
There was probably no team with two wins from last season that was as ready to return to the football field as the Northgate Vikings.
Head coach Mike McDonald and the Vikings opened spring training on May 5 and will complete nine practices and play one intrasquad game to close out the spring.
Although the 2021 record was not what they wanted, there was a lot of optimism looking back at how they ended the season. In their last four games, they lost by one point to Northside Columbus, took Griffin to overtime with a chance to win in the end, and stayed with Whitewater, who reached the third round and fell to a puncture- heart against McIntosh.
All that momentum that was gained carried over into spring training. After a hearty practice on Tuesday, Coach McDonald shared, “Last year we improved tremendously from game one through game ten.”
For the first time in three seasons, there is experience as a quarterback. Ishan Metts and Colin Meehan gained valuable experience as sophomores and enjoyed an excellent spring camp.
There is also optimism around the other talented players who are returning. Coach McDonald continued: “We have Tyon Williams, Evan Garrett, Clayton Cowart, Daylon Milam and Amarion White back. So with the valuable experience the quarterbacks got last year, we looked good.”
There’s also a comeback experience at tight end, where Matthew McDonald once again becomes a safety cover target for quarterbacks.
On the line, Carson Coghlan and Will Taylor bring back experience, while Ryan Cobb and Matt Herda are solid at linebacker.
One of the biggest weapons will be the return of kicker Nick Troemel, who spent the offseason collecting offers for Division-1. The Vikings will be in scoring position every time they go 50 yards, and he consistently kicks off in the end zone, forcing the other attack to go 80 yards.
One of the biggest changes to the Vikings roster next season will be their region. Three of the best teams in the 2-5A region from last year moved; Starr’s Mill, Whitewater and Griffin were caught up in regional reclassifications. Northgate will be in a five-team 3-5A region next year with remnants of Harris County, McIntosh and Northside-Columbus, and will host the Clayton County Drew Titans.
With returning talent and a more favorable region, the 2022 season is gearing up for the Vikings to return to the GHSA State Playoffs.
This week, the Vikings wrapped up their spring training with an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday night. From there, it’s off to summer training as they prepare to take on the Whitewater Wildcats in the 2022 Coweta-Fayette Kickoff Classic on Saturday, August 20.
Photos by Rob Grubbs
Northgate Vikings head football coach Mike McDonald speaks with the team after practice on Tuesday. Tight end Matthew McDonald (training jersey #9) has a commanding presence in the Vikings’ offense. Vikings kicker Nick Troemel (training jersey #36) is a weapon anywhere on the field. Defensive back Tyon Williams (training jersey #13) has the size and speed to lead the Vikings defense. Coach Mike McDonald and the Vikings are in a position to qualify for the playoffs in 2022.