Sorensen shines despite down season
As the "old man" on the team, Cale Sorensen wishes they were winning more but realizes that the younger players are benefitting from getting quality minutes.
Minneota, with four underclassmen in the starting lineup, is 4-14 this season with Sorensen the lone senior on the team. AJ Josephson, whom Sorensen has played basketball with since sixth grade, would have been another senior standout on the court this season but injured his knee in football and was unable to play basketball this season.
"I try my hardest to help the younger guys out," the 6-3 Sorensen said. "It's different playing at the varsity level compared to any other level, so I know it can be difficult. So, I always try to encourage them. I will always be working on becoming a better leader for these guys."
Sorensen, a three-year varsity player, leads the team in scoring by a wide margin this season. He improved his average from 7 points per game last year to 19 ppg this year.
"I think what led to my increase in scoring is just the change of roles," Sorensen said. "I have played difference roles throughout my time on varsity and this year's role is to score. I feel that to be an effective player, it is very important to understand your role and re-evaluate that role each year so you can make the most of your talents and, hopefully, help your team win."
Sorensen has reached double digits in scoring in all but one game this season. He scored a career-high 30 points against BOLD and has tallied 20-or-more points 10 times this season.
Scoring isn't Sorensen's only strength. He is a stalwart on defense, too, averaging nearly four steals per game by utilizing his quickness to step in front of opposing team passes.
"For me, it is just natural basketball instincts," he explained. "I try to play aggressively with our zones, so the opposing team isn't able to get a good understanding of what we're doing defensively."
But this season has been trying for Sorensen and the Vikings as they are seemingly in a rebuilding phase with a short bench. Only seven players see action on many nights.
"It is different than my past varsity years, for sure," Sorensen noted. "But I think about the future of this program and what is to come. I feel confident in the talent to come down the line and these guys are getting large amounts of varsity minutes as fairly young players.”
"These struggles and hard time we're going through now will only help them get better for the future. It is weird being the old guy on the team, but that leadership role is something I'm always trying to improve on because that's what these young guys need once in a while."
Even though Sorensen leads the Vikings in nearly every offensive category, he would gladly trade those points for more wins.
"It is hard not winning," he said. "I couldn't care less about my scoring. I just want to win games. Winning is what matters to me and that has not been the case for us lately. I will continue to try and have fun, but to me having fun is winning."
The losses haven't been for a lack of trying. It's more that the Vikings' inexperience pops up against more experienced squads.
"We are going to continue to work at it and hopefully get back into the win column," Sorensen remarked.
Sorensen knows that there is hope the team will continue to improve down the stretch and surprise a few teams. After all, his most memorable game was when the Vikings stunned MACCRAY in the playoffs two years ago.
"That was probably my most memorable game," he said. "We were the seventh seed, and they were the second seed. We took them to overtime and gave them a real tough game. Sadly, we lost, but it was a blast. I have never played in such a jam-packed gym (at Montevideo). The atmosphere was insane. It was one of the best experiences I've had playing basketball."
Sorensen, the son of Ardy and Shannon Sorensen, is undecided about his future plans.
"If the opportunity of playing college basketball presents itself, then I may play college basketball," he said. "I'll need to play better and start winning to help the chances of that happening."
Sorensen was also a standout receiver and defensive back on the Vikings' football team that was Class A state runner-up to Mayer Lutheran this season. He has not played baseball in a few years but is also considering finishing up his senior year with that sport this spring, too.