Viking Softball

Head coach: Kathy Crudo

Assistant coaches: Ron Trunk, Rikki Beaver, Larry Brodin, Kyle Young

What was last year’s regular-season record and conference record, and finish in the conference/section? 8-5 in conference; 14-6 overall, and we went 2-2 in post-season sections. We finished 3rd in the section. 

Who are some of the players to look out for on varsity? Samantha Pederson (P/OF), Cassandra Sinn (1st Base), Katelyn Berg (OF), Amber Yoch (2nd Base), Heather Kost (3rd/OF), and Macy Brodin (SS).

Who/what are the keys to the team’s success this year? Keys will be to focus on every game individually. Grow through each practice. Play at our tempo and ability throughout all competition. 

Our seniors are going to be the heart of our team, and this goes beyond their softball ability. Each one brings something different and the mold is something every coach dreams of. Samantha Pederson brings the heat on the mound along with a deadly bat. Her all-out, all-the-time mentality is something that the underclassmen strive for, and as a coach you hope they all pick up. Amber Yoch holds a gold glove for us at second base, but lightens the mood with her humor and quick wit. She also will be a key player in putting offensive plays in motion. Katelyn Berg will bring the speed for us both around the bases and in the outfield, she also brings character to the team’s atmosphere. She has the ability to lay a bunt down and beat it out or pop one out and ease her speed around the bases. Cassandra Sinn will have the opponents’ outfielders placed back to the fence. She is about as compact as they come and has the power to break some laces off the ball. She also has a heart of gold and leads by example, always willing to help the program and youth out. Heather Kost is our “tell it how it is” leader. She holds herself to about as high as they come standard, and lets everyone know she’s there to work and be the best she can be. She keeps everyone in line, and is one of our clutch “gamers” that you want up in any tight situation. Shelby Robinson brings pure athleticism. She is a work horse. She wants to constantly learn and grow through each opportunity and has the ability to truly have a breakout senior season for us. 

What are some challenges the team faces this year? Challenges (which in the long run will be positives) are going to be our field displacement. With the construction starting early, as a program we are all going to have to be creative in where we are practicing, along with our competition sites. 

What are your goals for the team’s season? Goals for the team’s season is growth of the program and for each individual within the current program. With growth each individual day/practice/competition we believe the ultimate goals will come. 

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? Not sure. It’s anybody’s game, every single game. The ball doesn’t care who won last year, last time you faced off with this or that team, or who’s got the “studs.” Hopefully at the end of the year, North Branch Vikings are the team that opponents “watched out for.” 

Viking Baseball

Head coach: Steve Christensen

Assistant coaches: John Pilz, Chad Carlson, James Pope

What was last year’s regular-season record and conference record, and finish in the conference/section? 9-15 (3-10), 9th in conference; 6th seed in section; finished 3rd/4th in section tournament

Who are some of the players to look out for on varsity? Brady Brodin, Dillyn Negley, Dylan Ramberg, Clint Mattson, Dawson Linkert, Lucas Jensen-Schneider, Zack Pilz, Nick Johnson (just to name a few).

Who/what are the keys to the team’s success this year? To keep improving throughout the course of the season. 

What are some challenges the team faces this year? Weather may be a factor, but we can’t let it get in our way of competing to our fullest potential. Our senior group is quite large, and they have goals they have yet to accomplish. Our great group of student leadership will need to continue to work hard and strive for great things.

What are your goals for the team’s season? To keep improving each day, playing as a team and striving for greatness.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? In the conference, St. Michael-Albertville topped the conference and had a great run into the state tournament. In our section, Chisago Lakes did well in the conference, and Hibbing placed second in the state tournament.

Viking Boys Track and Field

Head coach: Brent Lundgren

Assistant coaches: Norm Nagel, Bill Souther, Kathy Robatcek, Adam Wilson, Abby Moon

What was last year’s regular-season record and conference record, and finish in the conference/section? Conference: 10th; Section: 12th

Who are some of the players to look out for on varsity? Evan Amunrud and Colton Bauer are great senior leaders for our team. Evan went to state in pole vault last year and also runs the 400. Colton was the team’s top discus thrower in 2017. Dawson Drost has shown some great improvement in the shot put from last year and has turned in two very solid meets indoors already. Aiden Bear, Joe Nihart and Matt Stuber are all great 1600/3200 meter runners that look to improve in the conference. 

Who/what are the keys to the team’s success this year? The team was very young last year, and we had many athletes that had never been a part of track and field. We now need those athletes to lead by example and help develop the next group of young tracksters. Staying healthy will also be a huge key for us. 

What are some challenges the team faces this year? Our biggest challenge early this season has been the weather. Field events have always been our strong suit, and with the cold/snowy weather it has been difficult to get outside to practice those things. We were able to schedule four indoor meets to start the season, which has really helped us combat the issue and get some of our younger athletes some quality time on the track. 

What are your goals for the team’s season? Finish higher in the conference standings than the previous year; develop some of our younger athletes; reach personal goals and bests as the season progresses.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? Conference: St. Michael and Cambridge have been very tough the last couple years. Section: Elk River and Andover. 

Viking Girls Track and Field

Head coach:  Norm Nagel

Assistant coaches: Brent Lundgren, Kathy Robatcek, Adam Wilson, Bill Souther, Abby Moon

What was last year’s regular-season record and conference record, and finish in the conference/section? Finished 1st at our True Team Section (5 years in a row), 6th place in the Conference Meet, 3rd place in our Section, qualified two individuals (Rhianna Rinke and Kate Carlson) for the state track meet.   

Who are some of the players to look out for on varsity? Amanda Heinen/high jump hurdles, Cora Hudella/distance, Savanah Hoard/sprints, Emily Kristo/relays sprints, Paige Bauer/sprints, pole vault, high jump. Debra Thayer/throws. We have 16 returning letter winners coming back from last year’s team. Savanah Hoard is going to be my work horse this year. She is going to push in the 200 and 400 for a spot in the State Meet. 

Who/what are the keys to the team’s success this year? I expect the seniors and juniors to lead by example. We need to stay healthy and focused. Work hard to develop our 9th and 10th graders. We have some talented youth coming up. There will a few underclassmen that are going to surprise us. 

What are some challenges the team faces this year? The team is young. We will need the seniors to really step up this year. If we can stay healthy it will be a fun year. 

What are your goals for the team’s season? Win our True Team Section again – to be in the top 5 in our conference and section. We also want to develop these young athletes to the best possible student/athlete they can be. To have fun and track a memorable experience.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? STMA in the conference and Forest Lake always has a very deep team in the section.

Viking Boys Tennis

Head coach: Joel Santjer

Assistant coaches: Andy Spofford

What was last year’s regular-season record and conference record, and finish in the conference/section? We ended 6-11 overall, 3-6 in the conference

Who are some of the players to look out for on varsity? We have a lot of returning players from last year’s varsity squad – a lot of leadership from previous years. The juniors and seniors on this team started breaking out a bit last year, and we hope to continue seeing success from them.

Who/what are the keys to the team’s success this year? The team is continuing to come together this year. The key to success will continue to be the whole team pushing each other to get better. We’ve had a lot of friendly competition between many of the players over the last two seasons, and this has pushed the entire team to step up. It’s been so much fun to watch some friendly rivalries pop up and spread throughout the squad.

What are some challenges the team faces this year? This will be a very tough year for us. As always, we play in a tough section and conference, and the competition will be solid. On top of that, though, we will be losing our courts to construction early on in the season. We have arranged to play all of our matches away, which is never fun.  We also will have to make due without courts for practice and have had to make plans on using public courts around the area or late practices out of town. So our court situation is definitely not ideal.  

What are your goals for the team’s season? We hope to continue building on the success we had last year. We want to see the team keep growing as a group, getting better and working together. Growing the program is always a goal as well. If we do all this, we’ll see those results on the courts.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? We go after every opponent on the schedule. We have a great section and conference, have gotten to know the teams over the years, and look forward to seeing them again and continuing the competition.

Viking Girls Golf

Head coach: Jerome Huselid

Assistant coaches: Chad Bistodeau and Tammi Minke

What was last year’s regular-season record and conference record, and finish in the conference/section? Last year we finished towards the bottom of the conference, but have been working towards putting together a varsity team for several years. Last year was the first year we had a complete varsity for several years and scored very well at many meets. We are still very young and excited for continued growth with our varsity.

Who are some of the players to look out for on varsity? Sydnie Sampson and Allison Kress are our veteran golfers. Sydnie golfed very well last season and will look to continue to improve this season. Hailie Bistodeau golfed on varsity last year as a 7th grader and has worked hard in the offseason. We will be excited to see her improvements. Maddison Strong, Madison Irons and Chloe Moline were all newcomers last year and played varsity last season. They have all greatly improved and will be fun to see them play this season.

Who/what are the keys to the team’s success this year? We need consistent play from our experienced golfers and look for everyone to be consistent on and around the green.

What are some challenges the team faces this year? With golf, the weather and schedule will always be a challenge. The mental part of golf is also a big challenge – remaining confident and focused with all the variables of golf. Learning to overcome difficult situations and stay positive and keep a smile on the course.  

What are your goals for the team’s season? Our goals are very simple – work hard and continue to improve all season. We work at improving the little things in practice each day and try to stay positive so that the team will enjoy the game of golf. 

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? St. Francis has always been a very consistent team in our side of the conference. Our section is brand new this season, so we do not know a lot about our section. 

Viking Boys Golf

Head coach: Ryan Minke

Assistant coach: Kyle Maloney

What was last year’s regular-season record and conference record, and finish in the conference/section? We finished 9th in the conference and 10th in the section.

Who are some of the players to look out for on varsity? Jeremy Iverson, Josh Armistead and Braeden Scanlon are all returning letter winners.

Who/what are the keys to the team’s success this year? Eliminating mistakes and being consistent. 

What are some challenges the team faces this year? Finding leadership – we don’t have any seniors on the team this year, so some of the younger guys are going to have to step up and become leaders.

What are your goals for the team’s season? To finish in the top half of the conference.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? Conference - St. Michael-Albertville is always tough, and as far as the section goes, I have no idea. We got moved down a class this year and will be competing in Section 4AA.  

Viking Adapted Bowling

Head coach: John Grund 

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference?  Last year the Vikings competed at the state tournament for the 13th consecutive season. Although the team didn’t bring home any hardware last season, all the bowlers performed very well. 

Who are the players to watch this year? Co-captains Joy Edyvean and Marie Rogde are the two seniors on the team this year. Both have been with the program since 7th grade and bring with them the experience and expertise necessary to perform at the highest level. Returning letter winners Kevin Seekon, Glenn Beck, Logan Ricard, Victoria Kent, Aiden Black and Mathew Fox return to form the core of the team. Any of these bowlers could medal at the State Meet on May 18th. 

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? For our team to succeed consistency during the regular season is crucial. When the post-season begins, bowlers will need to push themselves to go beyond what was their average score during the regular season. 

What challenges will the team face? The team will once again face our neighbor Cambridge-Isanti on two occasions, compete against metro schools Wayzata and St. Michael, and compete with an outstate powerhouse – Alexandria. All these teams are formidable opponents and will help our team prepare to qualify for the state tournament in May.

What are your goals for the 2016 season? Having fun, developing teamwork skills and demonstrating good sportsmanship.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year? Cambridge-Isanti

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