LAFAYETTE — After an 0-4 start to the season, it was looking like a victory might never come for the Northside Vikings and coach Trev Faulk.
But that changed when the Vikings earned their first victory of the season last week after a 3-0 win over Westgate. The winning field goal — a 32-yarder — came in the waning seconds of the game off the foot of 6-foot-2, 320-pound Tyler Shelvin.
“I didn’t really think about it all that much during the kick,” Shelvin said. “I was focused and I just got the job done. I was very happy when it went through.”
Shelvin — a junior LSU commit who is one of the top defensive line prospects in the country — is not your typical kicker. Still, when the pressure was on and the Vikings needed him, Faulk said Shelvin was the right guy to get it done.
“The biggest thing is that he has a very strong leg,” Faulk said. “He puts in a lot of time kicking when though his specialty is on the D-line. He can kick it, and we try to get him as much work as we can there.”
Faulk said the early season struggles were beginning to wear on his young team, and seeing Shelvin’s kick sail through the uprights was exhilarating.
“We got off to a slow start, and to see those seniors after the game and their reaction when that kick went through was great,” Faulk said. “No one really sees how hard those kids work. It was very exciting to finally see their hard work paid off.”
Shelvin kicking is “obviously a side thing,” but it’s defininetly something he said he loves.
“I’m not exactly a typical kicker,” Shelvin said, “but I love kicking. It was a lot of fun to see that kick go through.”
The Vikings have 30 players on the varsity squad, and Faulk said they have many players who help in more than one way on the team. As far as Shelvin wearing out, Faulk said he doesn’t have any concerns.
“We try to manage our kids the best we can,” Faulk said. “We have multiple guys playing both ways and doing multiple things to help the team win. We try to get them to game time with the most energy and ability to help us win.”
Faulk said Shelvin is a great teammate and a quiet leader. Despite a slow start to the season, Faulk said he tries to instill more than just football into his players.
“Tyler is smart and goes about his business on the field, and he’s a solid kid,” Faulk said. “I just try to keep everything into perspective as far as football. What we are doing here is a lot bigger than just football. We try to help these kids become better young men first and foremost before they become better football players.
“Obviously, we are competitive and we want to win, but I know it’s more than just wins and losses. If the greatest thing they get from our program is learning how to play a certain coverage or run a certain play, then we have failed them. We are trying to build them spiritually, mentally and emotionally as best we can, and I think we are doing a good job.”