Adrian the first test for Vikings PDF Print E-mail


Coach Chad Johnston gets his Vikings ready.

By Byron Higgin, Sentinel Publisher

The Minneota football team was set to scrimmage at Tracy on Saturday morning as a tuneup for next Thursday's season opener.They will host Adrian in a 7 p.m. game.

The Minneota Rotarians will kick off the season's first game with a Whopper Feed atarting at 5:30 p.m. at K. P. Kompelien Field. Proceeds go towards Dollars for Scholars.

Coach Chad Johnston believes the solid football program from Adrian will give the Vikings a good test in the season's first game.

"We like it this way," said the coach, who is putting a team on the field many are predicting will take the Little Sioux Conference championship.

Led by three-year quarterback Sam Derynck and a host of good running backs, including Jcob Cheadle, Tony Noyes and Brandon Anderson, the Vikings are hoping to have too many strong points for opponents to cover. "They won't be able to concentrate on just one player," said the coach.

And Minneota is "bigger than usual in the line," says the coach.

That line, both on offense and defense will be led by a linebackers Mike Hammer and Justin Fox and on the line by Will Kurka, Jacob Horner, Jeff Cunningham, John Doyscher, Victor Montelongo and Jordan Longtin.

There's a bevy of others expected to add to the effort.

The scrimmage is at 9 a.m. Saturday in Tracy — then it all begins for real on Thursday, Sept. 3.





Back and Reloaded PDF Print E-mail

By Byron Higgin
Mascot Publisher

It’s time to start volleyball.
Wow, hey, what’s that you say?
In some ways, it never ended.
In the minds of Minneota players, it was just yesterday they lost to Windom, one game short of the state tournament.
And all summer, Minneota girls have been honing their skills as they prepare for the season ahead.
“Some of our players played on a club team out of Marshall,” said Coach Stephanie Hennen.
They were: Leah Fadness played on the 18’s team and Taya Kockelman and Jenna Hennen played on the 16’s team and both teams qualified for nationals.
“They went to Miami to compete and both ended up in fifth place,” said Coach Hennen.
There were 48 teams in the American Class at Miami.
“Most, if not all of the rest of them played here in Minneota. We have our own program,” the coach said.
At the start, the Minneota Vikings are filled with confidence. Coach Hennen laughed, “I don’t know what to do about that,” she said. “And they’re so shy. Communicating is so hard for them,” she chuckled. Yeah, right!
Led by the spirited Fadness and Samantha Hennen, the Vikings are spilling over with excitement concerning the new season.
The coach calls Fadness “a character.” And says their fun-loving attitude helps them become a good team.
“Leah and  Jenna have been on varsity since they were  in eighth grade, so they’ve been playing together forever.”
Concerning this season the coach said,“I think passing will be a definite strength.”
She said, “It all starts with the pass. And we believe if we can get our pass up front we can do great things.”
This squad has “confidence in each other,” the coach said.
The two left side hitters are Fadness and Jenna Hennen while middle hitters are Samantha Hennen and Ashlynn Muhl. While the Vikings graduated their right-side hitters, it appears to be four girls competing for the spot. They are freshman Rachel Cheadle, Kayla Maeyert, Haylee Davis and Justene Davis.
She hopes the competition for the open spot will help create depth on this team.
The tallest member of the team, Taya Kockelman is the team setter. “The junior is in her third year. She set half time as a freshman and did all the setting a year ago,” said the coach.
As for Kockelman  being the team’s tallest player, the coach said, “That just happened,” chuckled Coach Hennen.
Sophomore Kelsey Hennen is the Libero player and Minneota will count on her to receive hits and get the ball back up to the front row.
“This is her third year playing Libero,”  and the coach said, “She does a great job, she’s so quick. She pops ‘em up.”
So what’s driving this team to succeed this year?
Coach Hennen feels most of these players, “Have been there (state meet) before and they know what it’s like. They also know what it’s like NOT to get there,” she shrugged.
Memories of last year’s loss to Windom in the section finals comes to mind.
“Last year they were disappointed in how they finished and they don’t want to do that again.”
The coach feels a strong volleyball tradition helps and, “They know how to win. They just won’t settle for less.”
Coach Hennen feels Canby and Murray County will be good competition and MACCRAY will probably put a highly competitive team on the court.
But there’s one team that every girl seems to point to when you talk competition ... and that’s Windom.
“I think that’s who our girls think about because that’s who beat us the last two years (in the playoffs).
It’s not easy to forget Minneota’s big lead in the game against Windom, nor the way the Vikings eventually lost.
“They don’t want it to happen again,” said the coach.volleyballteam

The Viking volleyball team includes: (front row, left to right) Kayla Maeyaert and Ellen Buysse. Second row: Leah Fadness, Jamie Lundberg, Kaitlin Bottelberghe, Katelyn Kack, Kelsey Hennen, Megan McNeill and Sam Hennen. Back Row: Sara Maeyaert, Jenna Hennen, Ashlynn Muhl, Taya Kockelman, Haylee Davis, Rachel Cheadle and Justene Davis. Staff Photos by Byron Higgin.

Welcome to the Fall Sports PDF Print E-mail

ON THE BENCH By Byron Higgin

Surprise, surprise! This is a story about The Vikings and it won’t be about Brett Favre.
Of-course, that’s because these Vikings are from Minneota, not Minnesota.
This is my first Vikings Fall Preview and I’m very excited about it.
The fall sports season is always exciting because it signals the start of a new school season and it’s almost as if we’ve turned a new chapter in our book.
This time around it’s all new to me. I haven’t watched Minneota football since the days of Chris and Gerhard Meidt, the son and coach team that brought much success  to Viking football land.
Coach Chad Johnston is excited about the fact he has nearly 60 players out for varsity football and nearly 30 more in the lower grades. The future seems to be bright.
“Our base system has been here a long time. Going back to the Gerhard Meidt days, we kept the core of the offense and run it from junior high and all the way up and that’s the key to success,” said Coach Johnston.
“We make sure the younger kids are running the basic stuff,” said the coach.
While Coach Johnston and his team expect to be at the top of the heap in the Little Sioux Conference when the dust clears, he won’t tell you it will happen without a struggle.
Along with Minneota, strong teams will come from Adrian, MACCRAY, Dawson-Boyd and probably Tracy. Who knows who may be a big surprise from the likes of Murray County West, Fulda, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton; Canby, Lakeview, Ortonville and Renville County West.
One thing is for sure — it should be exciting.

Volleyball ...
Volleyball is also the talk of the town in Viking land.
The first time I saw them practice I was immediately impressed by the team’s work ethic and how tall and lean many of the Viking players are — which seems to be perfect for volleyball.
The Vikings play in the Camden Conference with the same teams the boys play and they’ve got some pretty tough competition coming upwith a tournament in Marshall, another at RTR and a big tournament Friday and Saturday, October 2 and 3 in Apple Valley — which by-the-way is a hot-bed of volleyball in Minnesota.

Coach Stephanie Hennen has almost her complete team back from a very successful squad a year ago and this time they’ve got their sights set on going a little further — namely to the state tournament.

The squad is looking forward to the Marshall and Apple Valley Tournaments. They placed fifth in both last year and they hope the competition will test them this year.
There are lots of thrills ahead of us in volleyball.

Cross Country ...
Coach Beth Jessen had her combined Canby-Minneota cross country team running at Lake Cochrane last week as she tried to find some hills and valleys to test her squad before the opening meet Monday, August 31 at the Morris Pomme de Terre Golf Course. The meet is hosted by Morris Area and starts at 5:30 p.m.
Jessen has five Minneota runners on the squad that will test the courses in Tracy, Marshall, Redwood Falls, Montevideo, Adrian and of-course in Canby.
Highlights of the season include a 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 19 run at St. Olaf College in Northfield and the state meet again at Nortfield on November 7.
Yes sir .... It’s shaping up to be an exciting sports season for Viking players, coaches and fans.
Get out and enjoy it. We’ll see you there!

ODDS AND ENDS: Minneota cross country runner Katherine Anundson is running for the Minnesota State Mustangs cross country team in Mankato . . . Baseball Clinic update: Last Wednesday’s Mudhen Clinic for kids was postponed. It will b e held Wednesday, August 16 at K. P. Kompelien Field in Minneota.
This is the second of a two-part clinic held by the amateur baseball team to help teach baseball skills to younsters.

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