Training Camp and Copenhagen Scrimmage
The Oslo Vikings 2012 pre-season capped off with a scrimmage against the Copenhagen Towers
Oslo, Norway. Three weeks ago the Oslo Vikings strapped on their pads in preparation for the 2012 season. Being the defending Norwegian Championship team the pressure is on - and the Vikings have their single goal set for this season; to defend their title!
"This years training camps served as a great opportunity to build on what we learned from last season. This year we were able to install much faster in light of having many of the same players and coaches from last season. We have also been able to develop many of our young players, allowing them to be integrated into our system." Coach Marques Anderson said.
The 2012 team returns most starters including familiar faces such as linebacker Jesse Alderfer, the entire offensive line and most offensive backs and receivers, such as Nicolay Aslaksen, Lorenzo Proctor and Vegard Tysse.
New to the defense this year is cornerback Jeppe Okholm from the Triangle Razorbacks (the 2011 XXIII Mermaid Bowl Champions of the Danish league) and defensive lineman Alexander Moe, who is back with the Vikings after having spent time at California Lutheran University. He will join fellow Kingsman Christian Paulsboe on the defensive front.
The biggest changes for this season are at quarterback and wide receiver, where Derek Mann (QB) and Brandon Weekes (WR) have been brought in to strengthen the team. They have both played at the University of Ottawa, Canada.
Head Coach Marques Anderson and offensive coach Vincent Pryme have shared their thoughts about the 2012 season - and reflected on how the 2012 team looks vs the 2011 squad.
"At this time last year we were bringing in a new program with a new terminology. This was the focus and top priority for the first half of our season. This year we have only had to review our terminology and focus more on development, install and execution. We are excited about this football team and we will continue to work to be better than we were the day before. So, yes we have improved as a unit versus last year at this point in time, but we have a long way to go to realize our goals as a football team." Coach Anderson said.
"We have a few changes from last year as we have a new quarterback and wide reciever. I think overall we are a better team this year because the whole team trained hard in the off-season." Coach Vincent Pryme said.
The scrimmage played against one of the 2012 contenders in the Danish League ended 14 - 6 in favor of the Vikings. The game was played at Frogner Stadion - and marked the last day of training camp for the Vikings. The low scoring scrimmage showcased the Vikings defense against one of the bigger offensive fronts in northern Europe, who were not able to establish their running game. On the offensive side of the ball the Vikings quarterback Derek Mann made several connections to wide receivers Brandon Weekes and Eric ford, while also getting some momentum from the running game from several contributors in Nicolay Aslaksen, Lorenzo Proctor and Vegard Tysse. Tysse ended up scoring the Vikings two touchdowns in the scrimmage, both on a pair of scampers inside the Towers ten yard line.
"The scrimmage against the Copenhagen Towers was a great opportunity for our athletes and coaches to play against a great team. They were very physical, fielding the largest offensive and defensive line we have faced in the past few years. Their QB and skilled players could stretch the field and were good athletes. They were well-coached and very meticulous about their approach to American Football." Head Coach Marques Anderson said.
"One of the attributes we were most proud of is that our guys played hard and with intensity on both sides of the ball. With a full referee crew we were also able to get a feel for how the new rule changes will effect the game this year." Coach Anderson added.
Coach Anderson also brought up a larger lesson that can be learned from Saturdays scrimmage.
"We have to make sure we make big plays, as well as do the small things, to be successful. In football the slightest deviation of execution can be damaging to a play, a series or a game. So we will build on that theme as we move forward. Execution!"
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