Hustling is a way of life at every single Bellevue Christian Vikings football practice.
Walking from drill to drill is simply not tolerated. Vikings’ head coach Todd Green, who has led the program since the 2013 season, is the kind of coach who focuses on much more than just wins and losses. Discipline and character are the core values of Green’s operation.
“We run,” Green said to his team after a set of drills during a spring practice session on June 4. The Vikings, who finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 5-5, lost to the Klahowya Eagles, 21-0, in the regular-season finale last season. If the Vikings would had been victorious, they would had advanced to the playoffs. That loss is something quarterback Samuel Cornett hasn’t forgotten. Cornett, who was a freshman during the 2018 season, got his second start of the season against the Eagles. Cornett threw two interceptions in the loss.
“That loss has just motivated me so much. Seeing the agony on the seniors’ faces when lost that game was tough. I took it personally, too. I feel like I let them down. We just got to come back stronger this year,” Cornett said.
Cornett said he learned a great deal his freshman season from former starting quarterback Mick Larsen. Larsen was the Vikings’ starting signal caller during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
“The biggest thing I learned from Mick was how to carry myself on and off the field. He was just such a great guy and a great person who was always so upbeat,” Cornett said.
Green said Cornett has put in countless hours during the offseason to improve his game.
“He has worked extremely hard in the offseason. He probably has put in a whole season of work. We’re excited about it. He is really teachable, calm and makes good decisions,” Green said of Cornett.
Vikings senior offensive lineman Sam Tefft, who underwent surgery on his injured shoulder on Nov. 13, is back on the field with his teammates this spring. Tefft had surgery just five days after his team’s loss to the Klahowya Eagles. The 6-foot, 3-inch, 290-pound senior is a team captain and a vocal leader.
“I’m feeling better every day. I love coaching up the guys younger than me and setting up the next generation teaching the guys everything I know. It is an experience like no other. It has been unbelievable,” Tefft said of his leadership role. “The guys are getting stronger and the guys are making big improvements. We are getting better every day. I got to continue to motivate my guys to do what they got to do to make plays.”
Green said the Vikings just suited up 17 players for last year’s senior finale against Klahowya. The Vikings have more than 30 players participating in spring practices in early June.
“We are excited about the guys that we have. There is no superstar but we have way more players than we did last year. A lot of them are young but we like the talent we’ve got coming back. Samuel (Cornett) is going to be a good quarterback. We got some guys who can protect him and we have a good set of receivers,” Green said.
Green said pass catchers Gavin Morrison, Luke Leinweber and Trent Paulson will be Cornett’s primary targets in the passing game.
“Those guys in my mind are all-league type of guys. They are hard-working receivers that will help open up our run game. Defensively, we got a good set of starters coming back. We got a solid group to work with. I’m happy,” Green said.
Tefft is excited to see what Cornett will do under center for the Vikings this fall.
“Mick was more of a dual threat while Samuel is more of a pocket passer. We’re going to have to step up our pass blocking game this year. I have no doubt we can do that. It is going to be a new experience and I’m pleased to be working with him,” Tefft said of Cornett.