Johnston takes over as coach of young Viking squad
Chad Johnston, who won 478 games and three state titles as the head coach of the MInneota girls' basketball program, takes over the boys' basketball team this year.
Johnston will be assisted by Mitch VanWesten and Brock Citterman this year.
The Vikings went 6-22 last season with only one senior on the team, leading scorer Cale Sorensen. Returning a lot of players with varsity experience will be paramount for the team to turn things around this year.
"Our starting five either started last year or saw significant minutes," said Johnston, when asked about his team's strength. "We lack height and we are behind with new coaches philosophies because of football. We are learning a lot of new things in a very short time."
Because of the deep run by the football team also coached by Johnston, the boys basketball team will have only seven practices before playing in the two-day Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda Invitational on Dec. 16-17 in Okabena.
The Vikings are a young team this year with just two seniors on the team.
"We have good mixture of experience from last year’s group and some younger players that will be contributing more this year," Johnston said. "I would like to improve on last season’s record and continue to improve as the season progresses to be able to be competitive against all of the good teams in the conference and section."
Max Rost, a junior guard, was second to Sorensen in scoring last season, averaging 10.3 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals per game.
Other letterwinners returning who saw extensive action last season for the Vikings include Anthony Rybinski, a senior guard who averaged 8.3 ppg; Ryan Dalager, a junior guard (4.3 ppg); Sawyer DeSmet, a junior post (4.4 ppg); and Peyton Sheik, a junior forward (5.5 pgg).
Others who will be counted on this year to make contributions include Jack Lacek, a senior guard; Ben Schmidt, a junior forward; Keaton Jurrens a junior post/forward; and Grant Anderson, a junior post; Lucas Rybinski, a sophomore guard; Tate Peterson, a sophomore forward; and Lincoln Jerzak, a sophomore guard.
Dalager sank 23 three-pointers last season. Rose had 11 treys, Rybinski and Sheik had eight apiece, and Lacek added four.
Dec. 16-17 at HLOL Invitational
Dec. 20 Russell-Tyler-Ruthton
Dec. 22 at Lakeview
Dec. 30-31 SMSU Invitational
Jan. 5 Wabasso
Jan. 6 Renville County West
Jan. 10 at CMCS
Jan. 13 Dawson-Boyd
Jan. 14 at Colman, SD
Jan. 19 at KMS
Jan. 23 LQPV
Jan. 26 at MACCRAY
Jan. 27 BOLD
Jan. 30 SW Christian
Jan. 31 at Tracy-Milroy-Balaton
Feb. 3 Yellow Medicine East
Feb. 7 Lakeview
Feb. 9 at RTR
Feb. 14 at Canby
Feb. 16 Ortonville
Feb. 21 at YME
Feb. 23 at Luverne
Feb. 24 TMB