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Vikings practice update: Younger players making progress


The Jasper Vikings took part in their final day of helmets-only practice on Tuesday before making the move to shoulder pads and fully-equipped reps later on in the week.

With the season opener against Class 1A state champion Mars Hill drawing close, head coach Philip Bailey said his team still has plenty of work to do before kickoff on Aug. 20.

“We’re getting there, but we’ve got a lot of getting better to do before we play another football team, and especially a quality one,” Bailey said. “Our guys are working hard and we want to continue to see that from them.”

Bailey cited the work of many of his team’s younger players, such as Connor Elmore, John Luke, Eli Kimbrell, Levi Hardinbrook, Max Cain and Jasper Odom.

“With the younger guys, it takes some adjustment time at the varsity level, along with the structure and what all is involved in making the transition, but they’ve done a really good job,” Bailey said. “Each one of them have a great deal of potential and we see them all have a very bright future in our program.”

Notes from Bailey’s Tuesday practice update:

— The Jasper Viking Kickoff Banquet and Auction will be held on Saturday night at 6 p.m. at the Jasper Civic Center. The guest speaker will be the Voice of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Eli Gold. Tickets are $50, while a table is $400. There will be live music and a silent auction, while Warehouse 319 will cater the event. For ticket information or to reserve a table, contact Bailey at 334-703-0239. “We’re extremely excited to have Eli as our speaker this year — if anyone can tell a good story it’s him. I know everyone will have a great time. We always look forward to our kickoff, we missed it last year due to Covid, but we’re very pleased to have it back and be able to share time with the community,” Bailey said.