Valencia will kick off the 2018 season with an out-of-state test, as Arbor View from Las Vegas comes to town.
The Vikings went 4-1 in non-conference play last year, losing its only preleague game 65-63 to Calabasas. They finished the season 12-2, losing in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship game.
Moving to Division 1 this year, the Vikings’ non-conference slate isn’t a cakewalk. It starts with the Aggies (1-0), the No. 180 ranked team in the country and the No. 4 ranked team in Nevada, according to MaxPreps.com.
Arbor View boasts a dynamic senior running back, Kyle Graham, who scored four touchdowns in their opening game against Valley View, in which they won 61-13. He was consequently named the athlete of the week by The Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“He’s explosive. It’s going to be a challenge,” said Vikings defensive coordinator Robert Waters. “Graham is a heck of a player, but they have other guys too. If you key on him, they’re going to torch you with other players.”
Senior quarterback Davis Cop takes over play-calling duties this year and Jayvaun Wilson steps into the lead running back role. While the Vikings offense will do their best to put up numbers, the defense will have a tough task stopping the Aggies.
“They’re a smashmouth football team, so it will be a very good test for us defensively to see how physical we are in the beginning of the year,” Waters said.
The Vikings square off against the Aggies tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Valencia.