LAFAYETTE — Much has been made about the Northside Vikings and coach Trev Faulk’s unorthodox scheduling of perennial state powerhouses in the early-season out of district matchups.
Faulk said not seeing the results in the first two weeks — a 55-6 loss to Acadiana and a 28-19 loss to Carenrco — was disappointing not because they lost, but because they weren’t doing the things they set out to do to be competitive. Faulk said this was the year he pointed to to start seeing results of his now three-year effort leading the program.
“It was real disappointing the first couple games because our kids and coaches have put so much into this,” Faulk said. “To not get the result we wanted in the first two, it was definitely disheartening, but it showed a lot about their character to rise up against a more than formidable opponent and perform they way the did last Friday.”
Last Friday’s opponent was Evangel Christian. The 13-time state champion from Shreveport strolled into Vikings Stadium and left with the unlikeliest of results — a 13-10 defeat behind quarterback Ethan Rose and the Vikings.
Faulk said he is trying to keep the team grounded and put the win into perspective, but the well-deserved positive attention is hard to ignore.
“It’s more positive attention, not just for myself, but for the kids,” Faulk said. “It is something that we are really looking to build on. It was a great, hard-fought victory and I really believe we can build on it if we handle it the right away. It still only counts as one win, and we have our work cut out for us trying to even up our record this weekend at St. Martinville.”
Faulk said the win itself doesn’t prepare Northside for District 5-4A competition, but the brutal schedule it has faced in the early season will better prepare the team for Teurlings, St. Thomas More and Breaux Bridge games that are to come in district play. Regardless of all that, however, Faulk said he just likes to compete — with anyone.
“Honestly, I’m just competitive,” he said. “If those are the people we have to play, we’re going to play them. Acadiana and Northside and Carencro are rivals, and that is not something that we are looking to get rid of. Acadiana can run the ball as well as anyone in the state. Evangel throws the ball as well as anyone we’ll see, and Carencro has that balanced attack. We have a tough district and that prepares us for that.”
Faulk left a very successful situation at Vermilion Catholic in 2012. The 2011 season saw Faulk and the Eagles finish with an undefeated regular season and fall one game short of a trip to the final. Faulk said the decision to leave was a difficult one, but Northside has always had a special place in his heart.
“The people at VC — from administration to the families and the kids — all of them were tremendous,” Faulk said. “It was tough to leave that situation, but this was just a move that I kind of had to make.
“I was a volunteer starting off here when I made the decision to give this coaching thing a try. The opportunity to come back here and mentor some young men that are growing up in similar situations I grew in, up being from this side of town and being from this area, was just something that was important for me.”
The Vikings took a while to buy in to the discipline and tough work Faulk expected, but he said he feels like it is finally paying off. Though the Vikings picked up one of the biggest wins the program has had in years, Faulk said he wasted no time preparing for the next one.
“Friday night, as soon as I got home, I started working on St Martinville,” Faulk said. “It’s like that great feeling or great satisfaction. Once you get it, you are looking forward to experiencing it again. I got home and I started watching film and doing all the things I need to do to make sure we are as ready to go this Friday as we were last Friday.”
Faulk said at 0-2, his team — though certainly disappointed — remained positive. He said he expects the same type of attitude in practice this week as the team looks to put the Evangel game behind them.
“Even though we went through tough times in the first two games, they came to work with positive attitudes,” Faulk said. “That’s the same group of kids and same attitude I am expecting this week after school. We are expecting them to continue to be hungry and put in the work that enabled us to have the success we had this past Friday.”