By William for CrossDove Writers


In 2018 the Smoky Valley football team had a magical season, going unbeaten until the state quarterfinals when Pratt shut them down and the Vikings finished 10-1 for the season.

For 2019, Viking Head Coach Tim Lambert faces a major rebuilding challenge as graduation cleaned out the cupboard and returns just three starters, one on offense and two on defense.

Gone are the power running trio of Tim Lambert, Cort Elliott and Lane Schrag who combined for 3,378 yards rushing and 36 touchdowns. Also missing are nine of the top-ten tacklers on defense.

Starting over begins with 15 returning letterman, including seniors Andrew Peters, Raleigh Wilson and Dax Hopp.

Coach Lambert has been on the sidelines for 26 seasons and this, his fourth season as head honcho for Smoky Valley, may be one of his biggest rebuilding jobs yet.

“We do not have a lot of experience with only three returning starters,” noted Coach Lambert. “We have some young men that have had to wait to get to play because of the talent in front of them, so we will have to wait and see how they respond to their opportunity.”

Concluding his pre-season reflections, Coach Lambert added, “Keys to a winning season will be getting stronger in the weight room and injuries throughout the season. We will have to play very hard and our determination to prove ourselves will play a big role in our success.”

The Vikings open the 2019 season on the road at Larned on Friday, September 6.

Viking 2019 Schedule:

Friday, Sept. 6 – on the road at Larned

Friday, Sept. 13 – at home hosting Haven

Friday, Sept. 20 – at home hosting Nickerson

Friday, Sept. 27 – on the road at Hesston

Friday, Oct. 4 – at home hosting Clay Center

Friday, Oct. 11 – on the road at Chapman

Friday, Oct. 18 – on the road at Halstead

Friday, Oct. 25 – at home hosting Rock Creek

Friday, Nov. 1 – Class 3A Playoffs

Friday, Nov. 8 – Class 3A Regionals

Friday, Nov. 15 – Class 3A Sectionals

Friday, Nov. 22 – Class 3A Sub-State

Saturday, Nov. 30 – Class 3A State Championship