The 2016 Pelican Rapids Vikings football team didn’t get to celebrate any wins so they worked hard to measure improvement and progress in other ways.
“I felt we got better as the year went on. We practiced harder and played harder as our young team learned what it takes to be successful in varsity football,” said Coach Dave Haugen.
The schedule was very tough as it included 5 teams that played in section championship games.
The last two opponents in the regular season played in the state semi-finals of class 2A and 3A tournaments.
“It can be hard to notice improvement when you finish against such high level competition but there were plenty of areas that we were able to look at in terms of our execution and understanding of our assignments,” said Haugen.
“I was really proud of the way we played and practiced late in the season. The guys were willing to be coached and kept learning,” continued Haugen. “The way the team finished out the season gives us reason for optimism looking ahead to the 2017 season.”
Junior running back Carlan Haugrud led the Vikings in rushing with 460 yards on 68 carries. He also had 4 rushing touchdowns on the season to lead in that category.
Jacob Gottenborg, junior, was the leader in every receiving category with 22 catches for 315 yards and 3 touchdowns. Junior Quarterback, Oakley Kress, completed 31 of 80 pass attemps for 524 yards with 5 TDs and 7 interceptions.
Defensively, junior linebacker Carson Haugrud was the leader in total defensive points. Haugrud led the team with 42 solo tackles, 42 assists, 1 sack, 10 tackles for loss, 1 fumble force, 1 fumble recovery and 2 blocked kicks.
Following awards were given out to the Pelican Rapids High School football team
Most Valuable Receiver – Jacob Gottenborg
Most Valuable Offensive Lineman – Preston Hart
Most Valuable Linebacker – Carson Haugrud
Most Valuable Defensive Back – Matt Hanson
Viking Pride – Matt Hanson
Offensive Scout Player of the Year – Colm Fitzsimmons
Defensive Scout Player of the Year – Matty Ziebell
All District – Jacob Gottenborg
All District Honorable Mention – Matt Hanson, Carson Haugrud
Academic All-District – Preston Hart, Carlan Haugrud, Jacob Gottenborg, Kaleb Tollefson, Hayden Christenson, Gavin Haugrud, Colm Fitzsimmons, Eli Sytsma
All-Section – Donovan Young, Oakley Kress