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June 21, 2012
After finishing last season 3-5 and just missing the playoffs, the Vikings are juiced for their chances in 2012, thanks to the return of seven starters on both sides of the ball.
"I look for our team to compete in our district and with other teams in our class. With the amount of starters we have returning and the general experience on both sides of the ball, we can rely on solid leadership to push us through what will be a new and challenging schedule," says Rusty Fuller, who enters his sixth as head coach. "We have some playmakers we need to utilize in space in order to be successful."
Marcus Claussen, first team all-district as a junior.
Foremost among them will be senior quarterback Marcus Claussen (6-2, 185), who last year made the all-district team after rushing for 726 yards and nine touchdowns and passing for 221 yards and three TDs. Claussen last year split time at QB with Austin Conn (6-0, 155), but Conn, a junior, is moving to wide reciever after last year rushing for 433 yards. Senior Reid Friedrich (6-2, 140) will also play wide receiver for the Vikings.
Senior Trevor Wakely (6-3, 170), who last year also made the all-district team after catching 18 passes for 305 yards and three TDs, will move from receiver to running back, a position where incoming freshman Nathan Wamberg (5-8, 145) will have a chance to help.
Juniors Tanor McFarland (5-10, 190) and Matt Koehler (5-10, 175) return as starters in the offensive line, with senior letterman Jacob Kearney (5-9, 175) also likely to play a lot.
Wakely (77 tackles, five fumble recoveries), a linebacker, and Kleinschmidt (70 tackles, four interceptions), who will play in the defensive line, are both returning all-district players and playmakers on the defensive side of the ball for the Vikings. McFarland (51 tackles, 3.5 sacks) and Koehler also return to the defensive line, while Claussen and junior Spencer Rosberg (5-11, 155) return as linebackers. Junior Devin Munter (5-10, 150) and sophomore Jordan Burns (5-9, 150) are lettermen who will provide depth at linebacker.
Conn returns at safety, with Friedrich another starter in the secondary and Wamberg a possibility for the other starting job.
Shoes to Fill
Not many, really, as the Vikings return seven starters on both sides of the ball. How about added depth? You can always use added depth...
Must Step Up
It's a program thing, not a team thing. The Vikings haven't been to the playoffs since 2004 but if they find a way to win, say,