Dec 14, 2015
The Diablo Valley College football season ended a month ago, but the Vikings Football Nation will still have plenty on its plate this holiday season.
Eight former DVC players will be on teams in bowl games, and ex-Vikings wideout Leondre Washington of Northwest Missouri State (14-0) will face Shepherd (13-0) in the NCAA Division II championship game on Dec. 19 (ESPN2).
Former DVC stars DE Kyle Kragen and S Antione Albert of Cal will face Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 29 (ESPN). San Diego State S Na'im McGee is in the Hawaii Bowl against Cincinnati on Dec. 24 (ESPN) at Aloha Stadium.
USC LB Wyatt Vinci is in the Holiday Bowl against Wisconsin on Dec. 30 (ESPN).
Oregon DL Tui Talia is in the Valero Alamo Bowl against TCU on Jan. 2 (ESPN).
This week, Utah State OL Jude Hockel and DE Siua Tiufa will meet Akron in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Friday (ESPN). Georgia State OL Kelepi Folau will challenge San Jose State in the AutoNation Cure Bowl (CBS) on Saturday at the Citrus Bowl.
The Vikings finished the 2015 season with a memorable 35-32 win over host Santa Rosa in overtime, thanks to a clutch 37-yard field goal by Brandon Brown.
The Vikings (7-4) continued their positive run with a 2-1 record in the San Jose City Tournament, including wins over College of Alameda, 84-63, and Ohlone, 70-60, and a loss to Merritt, 55-44.
"Overall, the guys really battled," said assistant coach Derrick Jones, who filled in admirably for head coach Steve Coccimiglio over the past six games. "Over the last two weeks,they’ve been sharing the ball as a group offensively, doing a good job of playing together and just battling and staying focused."
The Vikings faced Merritt without their two starting guards, Leon Williams V (knee) and Remy Dillard (shoulder), who suffered injuries against Ohlone. A former star at Vanden High, Williams has battled back gallantly after suffering a torn ACL on each leg in back-to-back seasons.
The Vikings are hoping Williams' apparent setback was more a reflection of his heavy workload, not the result of another injury. He had seven points, five rebounds and four assists against the Renegades.
"The knee became really swollen after the (Ohlone) game," Jones said of Williams. "The encouraging sign was there wasn't a play where he fell down and collapsed, and it was like, 'Oh wow, this is a knee injury.' He played well. He finished the game. It was a solid game. We're hoping that it's wear and tear."
DVC will compete in the West Valley Tournament this week, beginning Thursday against Monterey Peninsula. Then the Vikings will take two weeks off to heal up, before beginning play in the Big 8 at San Joaquin Delta on Jan. 5
"I think the pieces are there, it's just a matter of getting healthy," Jones said of the Big 8 outlook. "Now it's gonna be a matter of getting guys back and getting back into our original rotation."
The Vikings (6-3), led by freshman Jojuan Carrington, will return to action after a week off against Contra Costa (7-5) in the College of San Mateo Tournament on Dec. 18.
Carrington, of Dublin High, is averaging 15.4 points and 8.7 rebounds a game. Brandy Williams (9.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Antuanisha Wright (8.9 ppg) are key contributors.