DANVILLE — For the first time in seven years, the Danville Vikings enter their season finale without any playoff aspirations on the line.
Tonight’s game at Ned Whitesell Field against the Urbana Tigers will be the final game for nine Danville High seniors.
“We’ve got to go out, play hard and win it for our seniors,’’ Danville junior defensive end Tyvon Cooper said. “This is their last football Friday night and we want to send them out on a good note.’’
Danville (3-5 overall, 3-4 in the Big 12 Conference) were eliminated from postseason consideration with back-to-back losses to Champaign Central (39-14) and to Normal Community (60-20) a week ago. The Vikings, who also missed the playoffs a year ago, still had a shot in the final week a year ago to extend their string of playoff appearances, but they lost the season finale to Urbana.
“While we don’t have anything to play for this year, you hope that the kids go out there with all that they got for several reasons,’’ Danville coach B.J. Luke said. “First off, you want to give your seniors a good experience in their final game. Secondly, you want to have a good taste in your mouth as you go into the offseason. And finally, these are your rivals from the east, you always want to beat them and we want to get back at them for last year.’’
Danville senior Chris Collier, who has 1,002 receiving yards this season, points out it’s a chance to get things back on the right track.
“Why not go hard and put on a good show for our fans?’’ he asked. “We haven’t had the greatest season and we feel like we should have played better this year. This is our last chance to show everyone the team that we felt we could have been this year.