Viking gridiron squad kicks off season with solid win over Santiam Christian

VALE – One game at a time.

That is the mantra Vale High School football coach Jeff Aldred preaches every season and while he is understandably pleased with the Viking’s dominating, 46-6 non-league win over Santiam Christian Sept. 2, he isn’t ready to stake the season on one contest. The game was the season opener for both squads.

“The reality is it is game one of a new season. I don’t want to make it more than it was,” he said.

Yet the longtime Viking coach said his team “started really fast,” against the Eagles.

“The kids were itching to play a game,” said Aldred.

Vale junior Landon Haberman ran the opening kickoff back for a quick 7-0 score and then on their next possession the Vikings scored a second touchdown and were ahead 14-0 just moments into the contest. Vale quarter back Colten Stepleton put in a virtuoso performance during the game, throwing for 213 yards and five touchdowns.

“Our defense came out really aggressive and got Santiam Christian behind the sticks. We have really good offensive players and that creates match-up problems for the defense,” said Aldred.

Aldred said one key to the win was the experienced nature of his team.

“We have a lot of returning starters and there is a lot continuity offensively that carried over from last year,” he said.

The Vikings (1-0) next challenge comes Friday night, when the New Plymouth Pilgrims come to town for a 7 p.m. contest.

“It is a non-conference, solid Treasure Valley match up and we will treat it as such,” said Aldred.

Aldred said the Vikings will “focus on what we do.”

“We will try to get better each week. We still have a whole season ahead of us,” said Aldred.


In Viking volleyball action, Vale (2-3) defeated New Plymouth Tuesday, Sept. 5 in three straight sets in a non-league contest.

Senior JoJo Cleaver served 14 points while McKenna Justus scored 10, Teresa Gonzalez scored 10 and Sadie Garviet had four aces.

Cleaver also logged 24 digs while Halle Peterson recorded 11 kills in the match.

“We did well. I felt we missed too many serves as a team – we were at 81% for the night. I’d like it to be 90% or higher,” said Vale coach Shannon Steele.

Steele said her team needs to work “to adjust to different styles and speeds of the game more quickly.”

“We need to continue to work on communication. I was pleased with all of the subs for the night,” said Steele.

The Lady Viks’ will next compete at the Parma High School tournament set Friday, Sept .8.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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