North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase

Viking gymnastics

North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase
North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase

Head coach:  Mikayla Johnson

Assistant coaches: Norm Nagel

2021 Roster:  Ceriann Istanovich, Paige Bauer, Rebekah Fish, Mazie Hansen, Liberty Nielsen, Julia Munchow, Shaeyna Andreotti, and Dakota Esget.

Who are the key players this year? We have a strong varsity team returning this year. Our three seniors will have a key impact on the team this year along with returning varsity players.

How do you think any COVID-related rules will impact your team? Other than wearing masks and socially distancing, gymnastics specifically is able to take masks off while tumbling or competing. This is especially important that the rule has been instituted for safety measures. Keeping the gymnasts safe while completing skills along with the precautions to prevent COVID.

How do you think this pause will affect your team? Although everyone can probably agree it was disappointing to take a pause, but I do not believe it will have a large effect on our team. During the pause the gymnasts were conditioning to hopefully stay ahead of the game and be ready to practice when they come back to the gym! I have confidence that the girls won’t let the pause affect the great season I am looking forward to!

  COVID aside, what is your initial impression about this year’s squad?  We have a small squad this year, and the girls have proved to make great first impressions. Having a new head coach and assistant coach is quite a change for not only the coach but the gymnasts. They have been nothing but open to new ideas along with creating a great team environment. We also are fortunate to have three great seniors. 

What are your main goals for this season and what obstacles do you foresee in reaching those goals? 1.Stay positive throughout. This is a hard year with so many changes, so this is a top priority. 2.Continually work to increase the team score. 3. Increase the difficulty of skills throughout the season. 

Viking Boys hockey

North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase
North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase

Head coach:  Jacob Mars

Assistant coaches: Adam Gronlund, Jacob LeVassuer, and Fred Zappa.

2021 Roster:  Josh Iverson, Jordan Axberg, Zak Rindahl, Ryan Coleman, Connor Dahlstrom, Christian MacMillan, Isaiah Scarborough, Alex Langevin, Lawton Garin, Loghan Croal, Joseph Kerchner, Luke Opdahl, Paul Boelk, Brady Verdon, Tucker Sachs, Isaiah Stokes, and Riley Pickell.

Who are the key players this year? Joey Kerchner, Lawton Garin, Tucker Sachs, Jordan Axberg, Alex Langevin, Luke Opdahl

How do you think any COVID-related rules will impact your team? Hockey has instituted masks on the ice, and limited time in locker rooms. For conference play, we can enter the arena early but not allowed to use locker rooms until 15min before ice time. The impact has been finding a new routine as we cannot hold meetings in the arena or do typical team building exercises. The players have adjusted well.

How do you think this pause will affect your team? Took players some practices to get back into shape, but other than that our guys have bounced back fairly quick. Many players worked out at home to stay in physical shape and some completed USA Hockey IntelliGym cognitive training sessions to build their hockey sense.

  COVID aside, what is your initial impression about this year’s squad?  We have a great group of guys on the team! We bring back some good speed and experience with our senior group, and a younger class that is willing to learn and push themselves.  

What are your main goals for this season and what obstacles do you foresee in reaching those goals? Our main goal is for these players to have a great season, especially considering all the adversity they have gone through in the past 8 months. As coaches, we want them to become confident in their skills and team ability. We do have a small roster this year, 15 skaters and 2 goalies. Players have adjusted well and are excited to be back on the ice!

Viking Girls basketball

North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase
North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase

Head coach:  Alison Trampe

Assistant coaches: Jessica Audette

2021 Roster:  Kate Carlson, Nevy Madsen, Paige Peaslee, Maddie Helin, Brooke Rothe, Hailey Bistodeau, Makenna Runk, Chloe Lattimore, Ella Kuhlman, and Kate Lattimore.

Who are the key players this year? Kate Carlson, Maddie Helin, Chloe Lattimore, and Ella Kuhlman.

How do you think any COVID-related rules will impact your team? There are a ton of precautions and guidelines we’ve put in place to keep our team, families, and opponents safe- distancing, masks, cleaning routines, etc. As a team though, we’ve talked about focusing instead on what we can control. At the end of the day we still have the opportunity to play basketball and enjoy being together as a team. We are going to make the most of that opportunity. The girls have responded well to the COVID restrictions and I couldn’t be more impressed with their positive attitudes so far..

How do you think this pause will affect your team? It will most likely take a little longer to get everyone back into shape and ready to play in games, but I am hopeful the pause also made us more eager and appreciative of the opportunity to get back on the court

  COVID aside, what is your initial impression about this year’s squad?  The girls are working really hard in practice so far and we are improving each day. We will feature a smaller line-up this season and will really be focusing on our team defense and are looking to push the ball a bit more in transition

What are your main goals for this season and what obstacles do you foresee in reaching those goals? We will look to continue to build upon our success from last season and be competitive in our conference and section again. With limited numbers at the Varsity level this season we will need to stay healthy. We’ve unfortunately faced some setbacks this off-season. We suffered a huge loss when Paige Peaslee tore her ACL at the end of the volleyball season. We also had a couple of reserves from last year who would have contributed this season move out of the district. Despite the adversity and the unknowns this season, we are remaining positive and optimistic. We have a wonderful group of girls who are working extremely hard at practice and are excited to be able to play again!

Viking Boys basketball

North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase
North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase

Head coach:  Alex Kuhlman

Assistant coaches: Ryan Minke, Todd Dufault, Shane Ray, Tom Terhaar.

2021 Roster:  Carson Klein, Gabe Huset, Infinite Yang, Nate Halseth, Logan Murphy, Travis Schoeberl, Andrew Thauwald, Adam Rehm, Trevor Johnson, Nate Skiba, and Mason Young.

Who are the key players this year? Junior Trevor Johnson should be in the conversation for All-Conference this year. Sophomore Carson Klein averaged 9 ppg last year as a freshman. Logan Murphy is our most athletic kid and a very good defender. Adam Rehm will surprise some teams. 

How do you think any COVID-related rules will impact your team? Our rules are similar to those that people are facing in all aspects of our lives including socially distancing when possible, mask wearing, and sanitizing equipment. Pods have become a buzz word for coaches and that has probably been the one that has been the hardest one to navigate. The biggest one, and the one that has gotten the most attention, is the mask wearing while the players are playing. One thing that has become obvious over the last 9 months is that players are much more adaptable than adults (myself included). They are willing to do what they have to in order to play. 

How do you think this pause will affect your team? The thing the pause has shown is those that continued to work hard on their own, and those that planned on using the first week of practice as the time to get into shape. Other than that, I don’t think the pause will have a huge effect once games start.

  COVID aside, what is your initial impression about this year’s squad?  We should be deep and we should be able to shoot it. We have a lot of guys returning that played major minutes last year which should pay off this season. 

What are your main goals for this season and what obstacles do you foresee in reaching those goals? As cliche as it sounds, my goal is that we play as good as we can consistently throughout games and consistently throughout the season. We have played really well in spurts, but consistency has been an issue. With a more experienced team this year, hopefully that changes. Also, we have added a couple of experienced coaches in Todd Dufault and Tom Terhaar which will help. Our biggest obstacle is our lack of size. We don’t have that traditional post player inside that we can throw it down to when we need a basket, and that can protect the basket defensively. 

Viking wrestling

North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase
North Branch Viking 2021 Winter Sports Showcase

Head coach:  James Hoard

Assistant coaches: Kyle Kahl

2021 Roster: vJosh Logan, Brandt Bombard, Caleb Norwig, Jackson Marcussen, Ashton LaBelle, Michael Thao, Tanner Cummings, Joseph Krenz, Ethan Kester, Levi Krenz, Logan Rediske, Parker Larson, Evan Pommier, and Austin Anderson

Who are the key players this year? Josh Logan, Brandt Bombard, and Ashton Labelle are all returning state qualifiers that have goals of making it to the podium at the state tournament this year. 

Caleb Norwig and Jackson Marcussen were very close to making state last year placing 4th and 3rd at sections. Look for them to make a lot of improvement this season. Evan Pommier will be very competitive at 106 this season making his first appearance as a varsity wrestler.

How do you think any COVID-related rules will impact your team? The biggest impact is there will only be duals and triangulars - no multi-team or individual tournaments. For a team that doesn’t fill out all the varsity weights, this is a major impact.

  COVID aside, what is your initial impression about this year’s squad?  We have a wide range of talent on our team. We have a lot of youth in the lighter weights and some veteran upper weights. We are counting on those upperclassmen to show the ropes to our new wrestlers in the room. They are doing a great job leading by example.

What are your main goals for this season and what obstacles do you foresee in reaching those goals? The goal for the season is to get 1%improvement every day. We will enjoy the opportunity to wrestle every day we can, because you never know when the season can be put on pause again. 

 

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