2019 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Preview

Volleyball

2019 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Preview

North Branch volleyball: (front row, from left) Lydia Kuhlman, Macy Brodin, Kylie Kline, Chloe Fortuna, Katie Anderson, (middle row) manager Isabelle Dufeck, Galytea Pierce, Haley Hadrava, Lindsey Bunes, Maddie Helin, Paige Sheehan, Alisha Nelson, (back row) head coach Mike Selbitschka, Reagan Irons, Cianna Selbitschka, Paige Peaslee, Emily Benedict, Kristi Pilz and assistant coach Steve Dickhudt.

Head coach:  Mike Selbitschka

Assistant coach: Steve Dickhudt

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference/sections?  Record 29-4; Conference 8-1; won Section 7AA, Class AA State Champions

Who are the players to watch this year? Cianna Selbitschka will be the leader, however, we will be moving the ball around well with Paige Sheehan at setter. Paige Peaslee, Reagan Irons, Haley Hadrava, Kiley Kline and others will all benefit from each other’s play.

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? We have several returners and some new faces that will help fill losses from last year. We have more weapons this year and will play at a faster tempo. We will compete each game and push for a second state title.

What challenges will the team face?  We will need to be more consistent with our high-paced serves to be productive. 

What are your goals for the 2019 season? Our outlook is one game at a time and push to make a run for a second state title. We have a solid group of girls. We have nine returners and four new girls on our team. We are deep with seniors this year (8) and will make a solid run at the State title if we stay healthy and train hard.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section?

St. Francis, Princeton, Proctor, Hermantown

Football

2019 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Preview

North Branch football: (in order of grade) Evan Smith, Gary Thao, Kaleb Bovitz, Koby Chouinard, Daniel Hoveland, Alexander Roske, Johnny Snaza, Austin Sonnek, Andrew Van Eerden, Jackson Young, Charles Zierden, Dakota Zondlo, Sage Apel, Ethan Groshong, Joshua Hindt, Zayne Bagley, Jake Domagalski, Adam Pierce, Carson Braun, Gregory Bellanger, Gavyn Jensen-Schneider, Austin Kane, Eric Nadeau, Caleb Norwig, Bryce Skiba, Alexander Webster, Dylan Witte, Derrick Witte, Harley Hirsch, Stephon Thao, Joshua Winter, Jeffrey Bean, Luke Cornelius, Aidan Dufeck, Ashton Labelle, Jackson Marcussen, Blake Olson, Caden Sims, Samuel Sonnek, Benjamin Swanson, Andrew Thauwald, Devon Bailey-Vath, Johnathon Carlson, Dylon Hernandez, Nathan Franklin, Josheph Herkenhoff, Landon Weiskopf, Cole Olson and Brock McGovern.

Head coach:  Justin Voss 

Assistant coaches: Sean Huset, Kyle Kahl, Brent Lundgren, Dan Johnson, James Pope, Mason Niederkorn, Nate Short, Michael Nelson

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference/sections? Regular season: 6-2; Overall record: 7-3

Who are the players to watch this year? Gavyn Jensen-Schneider is a junior captain for us, and a three-year starter on defense at the linebacker spot, as well as a two-year starter as our TE. Eric Nadeau is a junior that saw a lot of action at the FB position last year. Austin Sonnek is a senior that started at the outside linebacker position last year. We anticipate being a major contributor as a HB for us. Koby Chouinard is a senior that started at the QB position last year, but injuries kept him off the field. He’ll be our starting QB this year. Drew Van Eerden, a senior captain, started at the CB spot last year. 

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? This year’s success will come down to our team’s ability to project a positive mindset throughout the season. There is no doubt that football is a grind, so being able to stay positive allows for an energy that can lead towards continued growth. We also know that we’re going to be up against some really solid football teams this year. We have to welcome that challenge and come prepared to put our best foot forward!

What challenges will the team face? We add a lot of new faces to our football program this year, so there will be a learning curve because of that. However, we really see this as a tremendous opportunity for our new guys to jump in and make a positive difference on this team. We also graduated a strong senior class, so we’re looking forward to seeing our new seniors step in and lead our program. We’re certainly optimistic that they will.

What are your goals for the 2019 season? We really focus on continuous improvement throughout the year. We want our best football to be played towards the end of the season heading into the playoffs. To accomplish this we have to remain focused on the details that allow for us to progress.  

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? This year we, again, have a strong district. Cloquet and Hermantown both had strong seasons last year, with Hermantown advancing to state, so we certainly think Hermantown has earned that right as the team to watch this year in our district.

Girls tennis

2019 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Preview

North Branch girls tennis: (in no particular order) Becca Perales, Chloe Moline, Rachel Wurdemann, Miaya Volkman, Sophie Smith, Hollie Ohnsorg, Deb Thayer, Katelyn Pascavage, Hailey Bistodeau, Carrie Hall, Sophia Helinsky and Justine Joyal. 

Head coach: Joel Santjer

Assistant coach: Andy Spofford

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference/sections? We were 7-11; conference record of 1-8, and we were 9th in the conference

Who are the players to watch this year? We’ll have some returning depth in singles, as well as some doubles players that have already started playing well together and are winning matches.  

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? We’ll need to show quite a bit of determination – we have the means to play really competitive tennis, but will need to grind out match after match.

What challenges will the team face? How we face the rapid pace of two to three matches a week and meet the hard work of a quick season will have a lot of impact on how we do.

What are your goals for the 2019 season? We hope to continue to grow the program, continue to make strides in competitiveness, and keep polishing the players into better individuals on and off the courts.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? My niece is on the Mora/Ogilvie Swim and Dive team – they look to be pretty strong this year.

Girls soccer

2019 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Preview

North Branch girls soccer: (in numerical order) Emma Mohs, Hailey Maurer, Lilly Johnson, Abigail Randall, Danna Garcia-Velazquez, Laura Anderson, Paris Kopp, Ella Kuhlman, Isabel Linnerooth, Grace Dick, Summer Fruth, Ava Gerten, Ava Mohs, Leah Romo, Sylvia Linkert, Paige Bauer and Emmie Meyer.

Head coach:  Josh Kopp

Assistant coaches: Sherri Keller and Jessica Audette 

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference/sections? M8 Conference: 2-6-1; Section 7A first-round loss to Esko; Overall 3-12-1 

Who are the players to watch this year?  Senior goalkeeper Emma Mohs has had a tremendous off-season and has a lot of respect from her teammates. She has phenomenal athleticism for her size and is very intimidating in the net. Junior Sylvia Linkert brings a lot of athleticism with the ability to play multiple positions. Sophomores Lilly Johnson, Emmie Meyer and Paris Kopp are players to watch. 

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? There is a lot of “soccer talent” on the roster. Leveraging that will potentially provide a lot of on-the-field success. The talented underclassmen now have a year of competitive varsity under their belt, so we are looking to build on that experience, while it’s still young, to lead to positive results. Our main key throughout the season is understanding the work that it will take to continually improve. 

What challenges will the team face? Youth and depth will test our girls this year. While we gained experience last year, we still have a large number of talented underclassmen expected to contribute a significant amount every day.

What are your goals for the 2019 season? Our main goal is for everyone to understand the culture and the expectations it takes to be a successful and competitive program over the long term. If we take the correct steps with the proper mindset, we will build a solid foundation where we can realize success early. If we focus on our goal of improving our standard of play then everything else will take care of itself.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? 

Monticello looks to be very tough again. Duluth Marshall should be right back where they left off last year. Chisago Lakes should be right there with Duluth Marshall.

Boys soccer

2019 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Preview

North Branch boys soccer (in numerical order) Tanner Bollman, Justin Ramos, Nicholas Bovitz, Isaac Johnson, Harrison Toussaint, Garrett Korkowski, Dylan Beaver, Grant Kennedy, Aidan Kramer, Mason Maroschek, George Blackwell, Brady Verdon, Carson Weber, Hunter Lawrence, Will Parrucci, Aaron Maroschek, Noah Schwartzrock, Wyatt Peek and Joseph Vandenheuval. 

Head coach: Jake Borash

Assistant coaches: Chad Johnson and Don Mattson

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference/sections?  Section: 7-4-0; Conference: 3-5-1; Overall: 9-8-1

Who are the players to watch this year?  Isaac Johnson, Garrett Korkowski and Harry Toussaint

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year?  This year will be a lot about hard work and wanting it more than the other team.  We won’t have a huge senior pool, but we do have a size. Keeping the entire team in good shape and positive attitudes.

What challenges will the team face? Overcoming stronger depth benches will be the most difficult part.  

What are your goals for the 2019 season? The goals for this year will be to take more shots than we allow, earn 50% possession or more per game, and not allow goals against to demoralize us.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? Monticello.

Girls and boys cross country

2019 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Preview

North Branch boys and girls cross country: (boys team, in no particular order) Alex Dick, Carson Klein, Jack Erickson, Josiah Zderad, Kai Anderson, Lucas Edson, Mason Young, Paul Boelk, Sam O’Meara, Zach Johnson, Zach Turek, (girls team, in no particular order) Alexia Russell, Cora Hudella, Elinor Tetzlaff, Elizabeth Woods, Emily Thornborrow, Evelyn DeMars, Julia VanDyke, Melina DeMars, Mykala Sierra, Norah Judson, Soleiel DeLorge, Sonja Malone and Victoria Kent.

Head coach: Norm Nagel

Assistant coach: Juanita Worthley 

Who are the players to watch this year? Girls: We will be counting on Soleil Delorge, Evelyn Demars, Cora Hudella, Victoria Kent, Julia VanDyke, Melina Demars and incoming freshmen Norah Judson and Mykala Sierra. We have a good group of middle schoolers that are going to contribute to the success of our season. They include: Sonia Malone, Alexia Russell, Elinor Tetzlaff and Emily Thornborrow. Boys: Zach Johnson, Carson Klein and Lucas Edison will be our leaders on the boy’s side. Alex Dick, Samuel Omeara, Josiah Zderad, Kai Anderson, Paul Boelk, Zachary Turek and Jackson Erickson will also contribute to the boy’s team.  

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? Our success will come down to working hard and staying healthy because we don’t have a lot of depth because we have such a small squad. We have a group of kids willing to put in the work and extra time to make this a successful program. 

What challenges will the team face? Our biggest challenge will be numbers. Since our numbers are low, we will be asking a lot of our athletes to run races that will get them out of their comfort zone.

What are your goals for the 2019 season? One of our goals this year is to move up in the conference since now there are only eight teams since STMA, Buffalo and Rogers left our conference. Our other goal is to be better today than we were yesterday.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section?

 

Since our conference has changed, it could be anyone’s taking. For sections, Forest Lake. 

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