VALE – When the Vale Vikings take to the basketball court in a few months, Randy Seals will need to double check the time for tip off. A former boys coach for the Viks, Seals is now back as the head coach of the girls’ team.
“I coached for Jason (Johnson) for several years in the girls program before moving to the JV boys position for a year and then the varsity boys coach for two before a job change made it very difficult to keep coaching,” said Seals of his former position.
Seals was recently hired as the Director of Technology for the Malheur Education Service District, a position providing him the flexibility to once again lead a Vikings team. Even away from high school sports as a head coach, Seals has been active in the community in youth basketball, organizing clinics and coaching.
Seals will take the clipboard for a Viking team that finished 2-6 during the shortened season of COVID. After the departure of long-time coach Jason Johnson prior to the short season, interim coaches Zach Knapp and Bob Phillips stepped up. Knapp and Phillips continued with the Lady Vikings over the summer.
“I really appreciated Zach Knapp and Bob Phillips time and efforts with their organization this summer and getting as many girls into the TVCC summer league as possible,” said Seals. “It really made a difference.”
Seals faces a problem seen by numerous coaches as student athletes return from Zoom learning and short seasons of last year.
“I’d really like to get the number of girls playing for the program up,” Seals noted. “With the difficulty of the last year in regards to Covid, I am going to work really hard at try to get more girls in the gym. I think it is really important for both boys and girls to keep going in extra-curricular activities as much as possible.”
Seals will take over a team with three returning seniors and six sophomores with varsity experience.
“I want to compete for state titles,” said Seals. “Vale has a strong tradition in girls’ basketball. I along with many parents in the community have been working with boys and girls youth basketball for quite a few years now. I am excited to see these classes come through the program.”
The basketball season for the Eastern Oregon League should be interesting as both Vale and Burns, usual favorites, will take the court with new coaching. The third perennial favorite in league play, Nyssa, sees Jeremy Chamberlain back.
Off the court, Seals spends time with his wife Kat and children. He also enjoys hunting and hiking and uses some of his time behind a camera taking sports and landscape pictures.