Viking Spring Sports Preview

Viking softball

Viking Spring Sports Preview

North Branch softball: (front row, from left) Head Coach: Kathy Crudo, Ava Sittlow, Macy Brodin, Elizabeth Gladitsch, Emma Hurd, Makenna Runk, Lexi Sheehan, Asst Coaches: Rikki Beaver, Mikayla Carlson, (back row) assistant coach: Larry Brodin, manager Gabby Tiegan, Sophia Smith, Grace Fairbanks, Kristi Pilz, Mckenzie Richter, Reagan Irons, Maddie Helin, Lydia Kuhlman, manager Maddie Strong and assistant coach Ron Trunk. 

Head coach: Kathy Crudo

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

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference/sections? Overall 25-3; conference 10-1. We were Mississippi 8 Conference champions and Section 7AAA champions, finished second in 3A State. 

Who are the players to watch this year? Macy Brodin (captain, jr. SS), Kristi Pilz (captain, jr. P/OF), Elizabeth Gladitsch (captain, sr. OF), Emma Hurd (so. C), Sophie Smith (so. 3rd base).

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? Keys to success this year will be continuing to work hard inside or outside, especially in these days leading up to season. Our captains (Macy Brodin, Kristi Pilz and Elizabeth Gladitsch) will be huge for us this year in truly building a new/keeping the same identity. Keys will be for our returners to truly help mold the newbies and show them what Viking softball entails. 

What challenges will the team face? Challenges will be figuring out who fits where consistently, also being able to get the necessary amount of practices in to get individually and team ready.

What are your goals for the 2018-19 season? Team goals are to take no days off. The group wants to work hard and isn’t afraid to put in the effort it takes. They are to take every throw, every pitch, every swing with 100 percent effort and not get lazy in any situation. Another team goal is to just continue to let softball be fun with the work it entails. 

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? No idea. Hopefully us.

Viking baseball

Viking Spring Sports Preview

North Branch baseball: (front row, from left) Scott Brett, Ben Huth, Mason DeFrance, Brad Harrington, Max Johnson, Reese Crowell, Kaleb Bovitz, Mitchell Hanson, (back row) Shey Stepp, Justin Axberg, Gavyn Jensen-Schneider, Garrett Anderson, Zach Gazda, Derek Ratcliff, Parker Johnson, Jordan Axberg, Jake Richards and Clint Mattson.

Head coach: Steve Christensen

Assistant coaches: John Pilz, Chad Carlson, Matt Hentges, Brandon Carlson (All at different levels, but used everywhere)

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference/sections?  Regular season: 9-11, Conference: 7-6, Sections 2-2 (one of the last 3 or 4)

Who are the players to watch this year? Clint Mattson, Jake Richards, Brad Harrington. A few underclassmen will have some opportunities as well.

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? Throwing strikes, getting outs and scoring runs! Compete and stay focused on the task.

What challenges will the team face? There aren’t a whole lot of returning players with last year’s group of seniors. We’ve got a good group this year, and I’m looking forward to working with them.

What are your goals for the 2018-19 season? Compete and continue to improve each day.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? Chisago Lakes/Grand Rapids.

Viking boys tennis

Viking Spring Sports Preview

North Branch boys tennis: (In no particular order) Thomas Wurdemann, Bradey Swanson, Josh Hindt, Noah Schwartzrock, George Blackwell, Tanner Wilmet, Gabe Zderad, Reed Malterud, Koby Chouinard, Kristjan Rustan, Adam Shoberg, Aeson Coen, Tyler Whiting, Ian Scheele, John Paul Rossini and Brock Peterson.

Head coach: Joel Santjer

Assistant coach: Andy Spofford

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference/sections? Last year we finished 6-11 overall, 2-7 in the conference, and finished eighth in the conference

Who are the players to watch this year? We’re really junior/senior heavy this year – we have a lot of players who have been with the team for a long time and have really developed well. Our doubles teams should fight well, and Thomas Wurdemann in singles should consistently be fighting for wins as well.

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? Our success will revolve around our doubles teams – if they gel and play together as teams, we should be strong there.

What challenges will the team face? We’re a small team in the section and conference, so depth is always an issue. This year we’ll be back to having a regular schedule after playing all our matches away last year, so we’re excited to be able to have a solid place to practice and play.

What are your goals for the 2018-19 season? We want to continue to grow the program and grow as a team. We’re consistently fighting for points in the section and conference, and look to continue that this year.  

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? We love competing against the teams we play. We’ve had a pretty consistent schedule over the last couple of years and have really gotten to know the other teams in the conference and section well.  We’ve got some great talent in the section and conference, and it’s fun to see who ends up ahead in the end.

Viking boys track and field

Viking Spring Sports Preview

North Branch boys track: (in alphabetical order) Zack Anderson, Aiden Bear, Will Bossard, Colton corner, Alexander Dick Dawson Drost, Lucas Edson, Ethan Egan, Jose Flor, Sean Harrington, Jack Hatton, Joseph Herkenhoff, Tyler Houle, Benjamin Hudella, Nick Hunziker, Gabrielle Huset, Zachary Johnson, Grant Kennedy, Carson Klein, Garrett Korkowski, Nathan Korkowski, Isaac Maki, Connor Mattson, Logan Murphy, eric Nadeau, Rylen Nelson, Jacob Nihart, Joseph Nihart, Wyatt Peek, Abraham Pierre, Alex Puckett, Adam Reseminus, Alex Roske, Brady Strange, Matt Stuber, Cleveland Swan, Benjamin Swanson, Justin Sway, Harrison Toussaint, Alex Webster, Derrick Witte and Josiah Zderad.

Head coach: Brent Lundgren

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

Who are the players to watch this year? Matt Stuber and Joe Nihart are coming off of a successful cross country season where they qualified for the state meet. Aiden bear has also been a very solid two mile runner for us the last three years and looks to continue that this season. We also are returning a great group of senior sprinters that will help guide the freshman and sophomores on the team. They are Jerome Swan, Connor Mattson, Rylen Nelson, Alex Puckett, Jose Flor, and Brady Strange. The throwers will look for leadership from Dawson Drost and Adam Resemius.

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? This season we have a large group of seniors that the team will be looking to for leadership. Our underclassman will be looking to those seniors for guidance and motivation throughout the season.

What are your goals for the 2018-19 season? Finish higher in the True Team Section standing than the previous year. Develop our younger athletes and get them experience on the track. Reach personal goals and bests as the season progresses

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

Viking girls track and field

Viking Spring Sports Preview

North Branch girls track: (in alphabetical order) Gracie Anderson, Paige Bauer, Emily Benedict, Liberty Boese, Hannah Christensen, Soleil DeLorge, Deyton Drost, Madison Dobbins, Abby Espeland, Rebekah Fish, Elizabeth Groen, Jamie Hall, Abigail Halseth, Lauren Hicks, Savannah Hoard, Cora Hudella, Alexis Hunter, Jenna Kurkowski, Abby Johnson, Lilly Johnson, Nora Judson, Victoria Kent, Emily Kristo, Isabel Linnerooth, Abigail Lyons, Katelynn McAbee, Madison Mench, Emmie Meyer, Gail Nelson, Olivia Osland, Rebeca Perales, Jacquelin Preda, Abigail Randall, Nia Randle, Samantha Schroeder, Abby Schulte, Madelyn Smith, Debra Thayer, clair Thomsen, Alexis Torres, Julia Van Dyke, Abbigale Woods and Elizabeth Woods.

Head coach: Norm Nagel

Assistant coaches: Kathy Robatcek (distance), Adam Wilson (Throws), Bill Souther (middle distance), Abby Moon (pole vault, hurdles, sprints) and Tom Kingsland (long and triple jump).

Who are the players to watch this year? Senior Gail Nelson (distance), freshman Cora Hudella (distance), Sophomore Jenna Kukowski (middle distance), senior Savannah Hoard (sprints) and sophomore Paige Bauer (pole vault, high jump, sprints).

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? Barring injuries, this will be the most talented group I’ve been a part of. Our field events, throws, sprints and middle distance will be the strength of this year’s team. It will also be great practicing and competing (for the first time in five years) on our own track again.

What challenges will the team face? The team is young. We will need the seniors to really step up this year.

What are your goals for the 2018-19 season? Our goal is to win the section true team meet again.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? St. Michael-Albertville in the conference and Forest Lake in the section.

Viking girls golf

Viking Spring Sports Preview

North Branch girls golf: (in alphabetical order) Hailey Bistodeau, Loleil DeLorge, Claire Husnik, Alexia Kane, Kylie Kline, Allison Kress, Chloe Moline, Galytea Pierce, Jasmin Salazar, Sydnie Sampson, Lillana Sosa Roush, Jenna Veland and Olivia Weyenberg.

Head coach: Jerome Huselid

Assistant coach: Chad Bistodeau

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference/sections? In the east side of the Mississippi 8 conference, we finished fourth in team score and fifth in team points. 

Who are the players to watch this year? Sydnie Sampson has been our lowest scorer and most consistent golfer. She is a senior this season and has worked hard. We expect her to continue to work on improving as well as expanding her skill set.

Hailey Bistodeau has been golfing varsity since 7th grade. She has a nice a swing, understands the game and has worked hard at developing her game the correct way.  Now as a 9th grader, we expect her this year to have a boost of confidence and shine on the golf course. 

Chloe Moline strikes the ball well and has some natural talent. As her short game develops this season, it will be fun to watch her on the course as she as the potential to score well.

Allison Kress, junior, has experience and works really hard. She makes good contact and will have a good season this year. She has the potential to put together some good rounds this year.

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? The key for us is to become consistent and confident on our short game. It is also key that we work on developing a positive mindset for golf by persevering with difficult weather, poor shots and days that are not going so well. We have four returning lettermen, but we also need to find a key fifth and sixth varsity golfer this season. We have a really good group of younger golfers who may be able to step in. 

What challenges will the team face? As always we will face some crazy spring weather, so we need to mentally prepare for extreme conditions. We also, as a team, need to solidify our mental game – understanding how to prepare, respond and grow emotionally on the golf course. 

What are your goals for the 2018-19 season? Our goals are to work hard in practice. Without a middle school golf program, our 7-12 program works hard at developing younger golfers by teaching mechanics and rules of golf for the first time. At the same time we have some experienced golfers with lofty goals. We will challenge our varsity girls and look to compete in sections with even a few girls with goals of getting a trip to state.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? Visitation made the trip to state out of Section 4AA last year. They are very good. In our conference St. Francis was at the top of the east side of the conference, followed closely by Cambridge. 

Viking boys golf

Viking Spring Sports Preview

The North Branch boys golf team looks to gain experience and confidence as they compete in tournaments throughout the season.

Head coach: Ryan Minke

Assistant coaches: Kyle Maloney

What was last year’s regular-season record, conference record, and finish in the conference/sections? Finished last in the conference

Who are the players to watch this year?  Josh Amristead and Jeremy Iverson – both juniors with two years of varsity experience. 

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? Learning to relax in tournaments.

What are your goals for the 2018-19 season? Finish in the top half of the conference.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section? Chisago Lakes in the conference, and Blake and Hill-Murray in the section. 

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.