The Bertrand Vikings will be under the direction of a new head coach in the 2023 football season following a solid run from Steve Colfack. Trey Stutheit, who spent last season as an assistant will take over for a Bertrand Viking team that graduated some keys players, but will have some players that could make a real impact.
Trey is a first-time head coach and will bring back four starters on offense and four on defense from last year's 2-6 team, and he thinks their team speed will be key this year. "One strength that we have is a lot of team speed and athleticism...Being able to utilize that speed will be a top priority heading into next year," said Stutheit.
Yes the speed is key, but Stutheit made mention of a key player coming back on the line. Senior Nolan Edgren stands at 5'11 245 pounds and will be important to the Viking's success. "Nolan is a very energetic kid that strives to get better every day...He's the only returning starter and will be asked to have a big year for us," mentioned Stutheit.
For skilled positions, junior Eric Wood and sophomore Thunder Nelson will be looked to as the main threats.
Bertrand is in the D2-8 District with Dundy County Stratton, Hitchcock County, Loomis, Medicine Valley, and Maywood-Hayes Center. The Vikings will begin the season on August 24th at Overton.
Wolfkings Look to Rely on Experience for Both Boys and Girls
The head coach for Bertrand-Loomis, Jennifer Kaps has been at the helm for the last 11 years and relies on returning experience to see post-season success and continue to bring along the newcomers.
Kaps is looking for the experience of Addison Hansen, Logan Schutz, and Ella Brown to help her team compete throughout the season. Marie Ford and Libby Kugler are also expected to be significant contributors for Bertrand-Loomis.
On the boy’s side, Kaps is returning a lot of experience that she hopes will help the Wolfkings find some post-season success. Marcus Hernandez, a junior, is returning and he is coming off a fantastic track season where he finished 4th place in the 3200-meter run behind two other RPAC athletes. Hernandez, along with Carter Horner, and Coleman Langford are bringing in previous state cross country experience but Bertrand-Loomis is also returning Luke Larson who is back this year after going out with an injury last season, Quinten Mumm is returning after taking a year off, and Kaps said that Teagon Arehart has potential to make an impact.
Hernandez looks to be one of the favorites for the RPAC this year. This year is also special for him because he is looking forward to running with his younger brother and incoming freshman Isaac Hernandez. Kaps said that Isaac could also have the potential to impact for the Wolfkings.
Bertrand-Loomis will begin their season at the Medicine Valley Invite on August 24th.
Vikings Look Reduce Errors and Stay Aggressive from the Service Line
The Bertrand volleyball team found itself in unfamiliar territory last season. At 8-18, the Vikings had their first losing season since 2009. But with almost its entire roster returning, Bertrand is expecting to return to its winning ways this year, leaning on its experience to move forward in its development.
"We were very competitive last year, coming out on the wrong end of quite a few close sets," Coach Kevin Lavene said. "As our team matures we look to take the next step."
The Vikings will still be relatively young with just one senior in the projected rotation, but they will be far more experienced than a year ago.
Junior middle Katelyn Evans and junior outside Brooklyn Evans return after 126 and 125 kills last season. respectively. Junior outside Emma Brown added 108 kills a year ago. Senior middle Bethany Pelton put down 76 kills and joined sophomore Shelby Schoene in putting up 22 blocks each a year ago.
Always a strong serving team, Bertrand returns four players with at least 30 aces last season - Evans, Evans, Pelton, and Brown led by Katelyn Evan's 43 service winners.
The Vikings also bring back their top five passers from a year ago, including defensive specialist Gracie Hock, who had 186 digs.
Leading setter, Leah Schutz graduated, but Addison Anderson returns after 170 assists a year ago.
With all the experience returning, the key to improvement will be eliminating errors. The Vikings committed 573 hitting errors and serving errors a year ago, surrendering more than nine points per set on errors.
"With a lot of returning players with varsity experience, we look to be more successful this coming year."