The 2023 Minneota Vikings football team and coaches.


Vikings geared up to defend state title

Minneota is coming off a Class A state championship with several key performers returning, giving the Vikings high hopes of duplicating last year's achievement.
Chad Johnston, in his 22nd year as head coach, notched the 200th win of his career in that championship game, a 38-21 victory over Springfield, the program's eighth state title.
The injury bug hit the team hard last year, but many of those injured players were able to return to the field late in the season and give the team a boost in the playoffs.
"Priority one is staying healthy," Johnston said when asked what it will take for this year's squad to go deep in the playoffs again. "We had a lot of injuries last year, but had more depth than we do now. We need to capitalize on our experience and build off that at some key positions."
Gone are two key skill players on offense in quarterback Isaac Pohlen, who threw for 1,814 yards and 19 touchdowns last year, and running back Zack Fier, who ran for over 1,500 yards with seven TDs.
Senior Ryan Dalager, who saw spot duty in six games behind center last year, will take over as quarterback this season.
"Ryan has a strong arm and has been making good reads in camp," said Johnston. "He just lacks the experience at running a varsity team."
Junior Brody Larson will be the backup quarterback.
Ryan Meagher, a junior, showed flashes of being a stellar running back when he averaged 9.2 yards per carry and gained 544 yards and scored nine TDs a season ago.
"Offensively, if we can have success in our passing game, we will be solid on offense," said Johnston. "We have experience back on the offensive line and our skill positions."
The Vikings won't have the size of some of their recent teams, but they will have a nice blend of speed and athleticism.
"We are not huge, but we do have some good size at certain positions," Johnston noted.
Sawyer DeSmet has developed into a weapon at tight end, both as a receiver and blocker. As a defensive end, he recorded a team-best 6.5 sacks among his 51 tackles.
Parker Bradley, a junior linebacker, led the team in tackles last year with 108, twice as many as anyone on the team, utilizing his ability to roam the field and quickness to the ball. He is also a solid offensive lineman.
Alex DePestel, a senior two-way lineman, also returns after having a strong junior year in the trenches, including 51 tackles on defense. Max Rost, a senior, missed five games last season due to an injury but is a standout defensive back and wingback who can run with the ball or catch a pass out of the backfield. He finished with 15 receptions for 299 yards and one score.
"Defensively, we need to establish our interior defensive line play and our defensive secondary," Johnston said. "We have good experience on the offensive line but that experience does not run deep and we need to find some quality backup players at a few positions. Our linebacking group is the strength of our defense."

HEAD COACH: Chad Johnston
ASSISTANT COACHES: Matt Myrvik, Les Engler, Steve Sussner, Brian Rodas, Matt Buysse, Bryce Jeppesen, Alex Pohlen
LAST YEAR: 12-2, Section 3A champions, Class A state champions
CAPTAINS: Sawyer DeSmet, Alex DePestel, Max Rost, Parker Bradley

(Number, name, grade, position(s)
2 - Lincoln Jerzak, junior, wide receiver/defensive back
4 - Max Rost, senior, wingback/defensive back
5 - Ryan Dalager, senior, quarterback/defensive back
7 - Peyton Sheik, senior, wide receiver/defensive end
8 - Tate Peterson, junior, tight end/defensive end
10 - Lucas Rybinski, junior, wingback/linebacker
11 - Chase Johnson, junior, wide receiver/defensive back
12 - Brody Larson, junior, quarterback/defensive back
13 - Keaton Jurrens, senior, wide receiver/defensive back
20 - Ryan Meagher, junior, runnng back/linebacker
21 - Drew Lipinski, senior, runnng back/linebacker
22 - Easton Johnston, sophomore, running back/defensive back
23 - Destin Fier, junior, wingback/linebacker
24 - Brock Fier, sophomore, running back/linebacker
30 - Carson Javers, sophomore, quarterback/linebacker
32 - Adam DeVlaeminck, sophomore, running back/linebacker
33 - Bretten Coequyt, junior, wide receiver/defensive back
34 - Kellen Bradley, running back/linebacker
35 - Sawyer DeSmet, senior, tight end/defensive end
42 - Tristen Sussner, freshman, quarterback/defensive back
44 - Landon Esping, freshman, tight end/defensive end
45 - Heydan Danielson, freshman, wide receiver/defensive back
46 - Joey Lacek, sophomore, running back.defensive back
47 - Creed Stassen, freshman, tight end/defensive end
48 - Grady Jerzak, freshman, running back/defensive back
50 - Ben Schmidt, senior, offensive lineman/defensive lineman
51 - Parker Bradley, junior, offensive lineman/linebacker
52 - Easton Sheik, sophomore, offensive line/defensive line
55 - Hudson Thostenson, freshman, offensive line/defensive line
56 - Eli Gruenes, junior, offensive lineman/linebacker
60 - Alex DePestel, senior, offenive lineman/defensive lineman
64 - Kyson Arndt, sophomore, offensive lineman/defensive end
65 - Cael Fier, freshman, offensive lineman/defensive lineman
66 - Caleb Bottelberghe, sophomore, center/defensive lineman
67 - Tom DeSmet, sophomore, offensive line/defensive line
72 - Brayden Downing, junior, center/defensive lineman
74 - Dalton Orvis, sophomore, offensive lineman/defensive line
75 - Kaden Neyens, senior, offensive lineman/defensive lineman
76 - Hunter Carstensen, sophomore, offensive line.defensive line
77 - Kyler Lozinski, junior, center/defensive lineman
78 - Noah Gorecki, junior, offensive lineman/defensive lineman
80 - SamMyhre, freshman, wide receiver/defensive back
81 - Dantae Orvis, senior, wide receiver/defensive end
82 - Kaden Christensen, freshman, running back/defensive back
83 - Quinton Anderson, freshman, running back/linebacker
84 - Leo Hennen, sophomore, wide receiver/defensive back
85 - Grant Anderson, senior, tight end/defensive end
86 - Blake Mead, freshman, running back/linebacker
88 - Ian Myhre, freshman, wide receiver/defensive back

Aug. 31 at Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 vs. Yellow Medicine East, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 at BOLD, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 vs. Canby, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 at MACCRAY, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 vs. Lakeview, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 vs. Lac qui Parle Valley, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Dawson-Boyd, 7 p.m.

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