Oct 26th, 2001 @ 10:11 am | Author: Viking Sports Information
If you visit the VCSU Football web page you will find one slogan. Chances are you might see it on a t-shirt or two. "Nobody Rides this Viking Ship, We All Row." On Saturday at Lokken Field, the captains of that ship that was turned around will play their last home game.
Sixteen Viking seniors will play their final regular season home game this Saturday as the Vikings host the Hard Rockers from South Dakota Tech.
Little did they know four years ago as freshmen hosting Dakota Wesleyan University in their first game on Lokken Field how their ride would roller coaster.
Wesleyan beat VCSU that day 25-21 on a last second touchdown pass. It was just one of ten losses they would absorb that year.
How things have changed. Since that freshmen year, they have gone undefeated at Lokken Field. Not only have the records changed but positions too.
Linebackers Ben Aarestad and Joe Kern both made the switch from fullback to linebacker and prospered. Tackle Cortney Griffith made the most recent switch from tight end to starting at tackle.
Saftey Mike Rowe, quarterback Jeremy Peschel, receiver J.O. Thielges, cornerback Joaquin Estevez and punter James Thornton are the veterans of the group, each benefiting from extra years in the program. Rowe came back from a season ending injury and was granted a hardship. Peschel did not go out for football until his third fall at VCSU. Thielges transferred from UND after competing there for three years including a red shirt season. Estevez career began in 1997 before taking a year off and returning in 1999. Thornton, like Peschel began his career at VCSU in baseball before suffering through a summer car accident that finally allowed him to participate beginning in 1999.
Fullback David Woods and defensive lineman Brent Miller join Peschel as seniors who have started since their first game. Offensive lineman Justin Wieseler and Arek Aakre are three-year starters as is nose guard Mike Silbernagel.
Receiver Justin Diemert, defensive end Doug Murch and offensive tackle Joe Hartsell are all four-year performers in the program and have given depth and leadership at their positions.
These sixteen seniors might be the captains Saturday but you won’t find anybody rowing harder for the cause.