[Jack Demmler | WOUB]

Vinton County braces for TVC takeover behind new stars

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MCARTHUR, Ohio (WOUB) – TJ Carper enters his second year as head coach for the Vinton County Vikings with hopes of bringing a TVC-Ohio title to the program.

In his first season as head coach, the Vikings finished with a winning record for the first time in 17 years.

“This year we’re competing,” Carper said. “We showed last year that we can compete.”

Carper said the focus for the team is on their core values of accountability, commitment and toughness. Carper said it’s about being better about following their core values to get them to a conference championship level.

According to Carper one of the biggest challenges that stands in the Vikings’ path to a championship is the Nelsonville York Buckeyes. Last season the Vikings fell one game short of clinching a share of the title.

“Unfortunately last year we fell to them in the championship game,” Carper said, “but it was fun being at that spot and we have experience playing in one of those types of games. It’s just about learning from our mistakes from last year, growing from those and not making the same mistakes …”

Carper said the Buckeyes is the team that stands in everyone’s way and that is the level he hopes to see Vinton County reach.

The Vikings will look to reach that level without their single-season rushing leader, Zane Karr, who graduated last season. While it will be hard to fill in the shoes of Karr, Carper said the team has guys ready to go. “You have guys like Gabe Raschke who has been in the fire, who has been battle-tested, who knows what it takes to be that type of kid,” Carper said.

Vinton County opens its season with a non-conference road game against the Unioto Shermans on August 19.