2021 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Showcase

Viking volleyball

2021 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Showcase

2021 Viking volleyball: (front row, from left) Makenna Runk, Gina Jensen, Keah Kent, Lydia Kuhlman, Isabell Esget, Alexia Kane, Lindsey Meizo, Stephanie Hannon, Ava Sittlow, (back row) coach Abby Moon, coach Ron Trunk, coach Jessica Konrad, Lindsey Bunes, Rylee Ramberg, Paige Peaslee, Lauren Hicks, Maddie Helin, coach Tammi Minke, and coach Mike Selbitschka.

Head coach: Mike Selbitschka

Assistant coaches: Tammi Minke (V), Abby Moon (JV), Jessica Konrad (B), Ron Trunk (9th)

Who are the players to watch this year? Paige Peaslee coming back from her ACL injury will be one to watch.  To be honest, we have some great talent all around and have several players that could really make an impact this season!

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? Our success depends on how quickly the girls understand their roles on the team.  We have some great girls that have a lot ot give, they will be fun to watch this year.

What challenges will the team face? Our team needs to stay healthy this fall and continue to compete at a high level.  We have many games with 4A schools that will be a challenge for us, but also good for our training.

What are your goals for the 2021 season? Our goal for this season is to make it to the State Tournament again after missing the opportunity last year with our season getting shut down due to Covid.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section?  Our Challenge for the conference will be Monticello again, they were strong last year and young.  As for our Section, we have some nice teams.  They all have some nice players coming up, especially Cloquet, Hermantown and Grand Rapids.

Viking football

2021 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Showcase

2021 Viking football (in no particular order): Brian Bossard, Aidan Duffeck, Luke Cornelius, Abraham Pierre, Nathan Franklin, Austin Herman, Gabriel Huset, Ashton LaBelle, Jackson Marcussen, Ryan O’Day, Cole Olson, Hunter Peterson, Nathan Skiba, Samuel Sonnek, Isaiah Stokes, Andrew Thauwald, Landon Weiskopf, Vincent Boeck, Loghan Croal, Adam Johnstone, Matthew Lavalla, AJ Pavek, Preston Peterson, John Robotti, Samuel Robillard, Tyler Schneidewind, Joe Steeves, Michael Thao, Carter Triggs, Jaxson Willie, Austin Anderson, Michael Dragicevich, Tyler Hendricks, Hunter Deshane, Jaden Dodge, Joe Donahue, Ayden Droz, Ty Ellsworth, Lavonte Fisher, Thomas Harkey, Tanner Helin, Jarad McWilliams, Zachary Monson, Aiden Olson, Malachi Pasholk, Logan Grundhauser, Jayden Roske, Gavin Goeltl, Everett Thomsen, Jacob Tiegen, and Landen Ullmann.

Head coach: Justin Voss

Assistant coaches: Kyle Kahl, Sean Huset, Dan Johnson, Brent Lundgren, Andrew Timmer, Ian McWilliams, Mason Niedekorn.

Who are the players to watch this year? We continue to ask our Seniors to set up and be leaders within our football family.  From off the field, to the classroom and in our community we lean on our Seniors to guide us in the right direction by the positive actions they make.

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? For us we look at our keys to success in a few different ways.  On the field it will be so important for us to take care of the football on offense as well as create big plays within our offense structure.  For Defense we want to create turnovers and limit opposing teams big plays, and certainly for Special Teams we want that unit to be a spark for us that helps create or turn the momentum in our favor.  Off the field is just as important to us.  We want to continue to develop good young people that learn what it means to sacrifice for a great good and are able to show kindness.

What challenges will the team face? I think like a lot of teams, the football season is a grind.  We want to be sure that we challenge our students to embrace the grind and stay positive through all the ups and downs the season will bring.  We feel if our guys can continue to build each other up with a positive attitude and embrace the grind with strong effort we’ll be able to see continuous improvement throughout the year!

What are your goals for the 2021 season? Our goal is to continue to find ways to invest in who we are, which is a Family and push our students to realize the importance of a positive attitude and strong effort.  Along with that we want our guys to display kindness towards one another and to their peers!  We feel if we can invest in these ideals that our students will have an outstanding experience being a part of North Branch Football!

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section?  Our district continues to have strong football teams in and this year is certainly no different.  After the success that Grand Rapids had last year I believe they have earned that right to be a team to watch again this year.  Of course Hermantown, Cloquet and Duluth East continue to compete at a high level and will be strong teams in our district again.

Viking girls tennis

2021 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Showcase

2021 Viking girls tennis: (front row, from left) Hailey Bistodeau, Brooke Rothe, Ashley Bistodeau, Jadyn Volkman, Jillian Horsfall, Molly Bushinger, (back row) Rachel Wurdemann, Sophia Helinsky, Carrie Hall, Justine Joyal, Nora Toussaint, Jayla Holevas, and Katelyn Money.

Head coach: Joel Santjer

Assistant coaches: Andy Spofford

Who are the players to watch this year? Half of our varsity squad this year is made up of seniors with quite a bit of experience on varsity, and the other half will be brand new to varsity.  The seniors have really stepped up taken a leadership role, looking to help out not only those new to varsity, but also those new to the team.  All six of them will contribute to the team in many ways on any given day.

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? The top of our order will be where we are looking to score points, while those playing 3 and 4 singles and 3 doubles will be young, new to varsity, and focused on learning and getting better each time we go out.

What challenges will the team face? Though we have decent numbers this year, we are still a small team playing against much larger ones.  The biggest challenges are the ones we always face- getting new players up to speed really quickly and continuously developing a young team into competitive tennis players.

What are your goals for the 2021 season?  To continue to grow the program, fight and compete in the conference and section, and to continue to teach these young players the benefits of competition and involvement in High School sports.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section?   With a section of 17 teams, it’s hard to pick one.  We’ll get after each one we play and fight to the last point.

Viking boys soccer

2021 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Showcase

2021 Viking boys soccer: (in no particular order) Tony Baker, Tanner Bollman, Nickolas Bovitz, Drew Detzler, Jacob Edmands, eric Elizarraga-Flor, Chazz Johnson, Garrett Korkowski, Christian Macmillan, Lake Mechtel, Wyatt Peek, Justin Ramos, Bryce Rehm, Jace Sperry, Brady Verdon, Carson Weber, and Kobe Yang.

Head coach: Jake Borash

Assistant coaches: Chad Johnson, Parker Johnson

Who are the players to watch this year? Tanner Bollman - GK; Did incredibly well last year and exceeded expectations. Now we see him in his final year and hopefully he goes out with a bang.

Nick Bovitz - M; Absolute workhorse. He never stops working and he always wants to be involved.

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? Staying healthy. The skill is quite high on a lot of the players, but the size and depth is smaller.  Just need to keep everyone in game shape the best we can. Staying positive and building on the little successes.What challenges will the team face? Physical soccer. The boys aren’t afraid to get hit, but we don’t have a huge size on our end. Making sure they stay disciplined and continually work hard for not only themselves, but their teammates as well.

What are your goals for the 2021 season? Compete in every game regardless of the size or physicality of the opponent.  Have effective possession in the middle third of the field. Stay positive and healthy for the entirety of the season.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section?  Monticello is going to be a tough matchup for Conference and Cloquet always plays very physical so we have to get ready to stay strong for them near the end of the season. 

Viking girls soccer

2021 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Showcase

2021 Viking girls soccer: (front row, from left) Ava Gerten, Sharis Garcia, Paris Kopp, Lilly Johnson, Abby Randall, Sharleen Garcia, Isabel Linnerooth, (back row) Olivia Lorge, Drew Moryn, Summer Fruth, Madi Whitman, Emmie Meyer, Peyton Verdon, Ava Mohs, Lucy Anderson, and Danna Garcia.

Head coach: Josh Kopp

Assistant coaches: Sherri Keller, Logan Delmont

Who are the players to watch this year? Our seniors. We will really be looking to all of them to step up and contribute this year. Lilly Johnson and Emmie Meyer are coming off All-Conference years and Paris Kopp as an All-Conference Honorable Mention.

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? Playing a balanced style of soccer. We have the skill to move the ball with control as well as getting vertical up the field. Defensively our girls can press well as a group and stay organized to control opposition movements.

What challenges will the team face? We have some large shoes to fill with the departure of graduates playing some very key roles. Finding the right individuals to fill those spots will be a challenge.

What are your goals for the 2021 season? Our girls have the standard that we expect to be competitive day in and day out. We expect to play well. We expect to do well in our conference and to make a run in our Section 7AA.

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section?  St. Francis is going to be extremely tough, and Monticello is fully expected to be in the running, but I wouldn’t count anyone out. With soccer moving to a three-class system, it makes for an interesting year in the section. I definitely feel Cloquet will be a section opponent to watch closely. And I certainly wouldn’t leave out the hometown program!

Viking boys and girls cross country

2021 North Branch Viking Fall Sports Showcase

2021 Viking boys cross country: (in no particular order) Zach Johnson, Alex Dick, Josiah Zderad, Andrew Witkowski, Gabe Wurderman, Travis Mihajilovich, Jarett Nelson, Jordan Strum, Zach Sway, and Paul Boelk. 2021 Viking girls cross country: (in no particular order) Cora Hudella, Norah Judson, Elinor Tetzloff , Kylie Anderson, Evelina Gilkerson, Rosie Gilkerson, Maddy Doohen, Ruby Hanson, Grace Nigbor, Soliel DeLorge, Hanna Reed, Makenna Peterson, and Sonja Malone.

Head coach: Norm Nagel

Assistant coaches: Juanita Worthey

Who are the players to watch this year? On the boys side Captain and senior Zach Johnson will lead our boys this year. Alex Dick, Andrew Witkowski, Paulk Boelk, Josiah Zderad and Jarett Nelson will fight for the varsity race. On the girls side senior and Captain Cora Hudella will lead our girl runners. Norah Judson, Mykala Sierra, Evelina Gilkerson, Kylie Anderson and transfer Hanna Reed will be our top runners

What will be the keys to the team’s success this year? To stay healthy. 

What challenges will the team face? Our numbers are a little down from last year and we need to keep the kids engaged and focused this year. We Have 3 seniors on the boys side and only 2 on the girls side. The boys are a little more experienced and should be competitive.

What are your goals for the 2021 season? If we can stay away from injuries and Covid , I think this years team will be competitive. It will be nice to have a normal schedule and go to the bigger invites. Milaca will be the showcase meet this year and we are off to Hibbing to see our friends up north. I think a lot of kids don’t know where Hibbing is and where Bob Dylan is from. 

Who is the opponent to watch for this year in the conference/section?  In the conference Big Lake and Monticello will the favorites. Cambridge and Becker also will be tough. In Section 7aa it could be anyone’s to take. This year we moved to 3 classes, (about time) so some of the bigger schools we will not be in our section. It will be nice to compete against schools that are the same size as us.

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