December 19, 2003 at 11:22 a.m.
In a word, the Vikettes (called Vikettes instead of Vikings) are due. Two seasons ago, North Branch missed the state tournament by two places, last year, they missed the big show by one. So at their present rate of improvement, this season should be the year right?
“If you were to ask the girls, they would say that they just want to go to state,” remarked Dianna Linehan, North Branch Dance Team head coach. “Missing the last two seasons, it’s easy to understand why they have that in the back of their mind. But, all of us know that it takes a lot of work and dedication to get there. These girls never give up, that’s why it is so much fun working with them.”
Adding fuel to the state fire is the make-up of this year’s team. The Vikettes return 15 letterwinners including five seniors, two juniors, and six sophomores.
“All of the girls have a love for the sport. They are hard workers and continue to have a positive attitude throughout the season. They are great representatives of North Branch; I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Along with the returning core, North Branch is blessed with numbers, making it easy to patch holes when they come up. To Linehan, the ability to adjust on the fly is key number one.
“All of the girls play an important role. One in particular that isn’t recognized as often as it should be is the roles of the alternates,” remarked Linehan. “In this sport, it is imperative to have team members that are available and ready to compete in case an injury prevents another member from dancing. We are judged on several things like uniformity, accuracy, and presentation, as well as several other areas. In the event that someone gets injured, the alternate is asked to learn that dancer’s every move so the team does not need to dance with a hole or without that position being filled.”
In other words, balance is key and this year’s team has it. That and talent.
“We had no seniors last year so this year, I believe will be our strongest yet,” said Linehan. “We are extremely excited to begin the season. The girls always do a nice job of always wanting to improve. They are determined young ladies and have the ability to balance long hours and hard work. I can’t wait to get going.”
The Vikings get started on Thursday at Chisago Lakes. Start time is set for 8:00 p.m.