Sep 21st, 2005 @ 2:25 pm | Author: Vikings Sports News
The VCSU Viking Football team is ranked 19th in the country and off to a 3-0 start. The Viking volleyball team has already won half as many conference games this season than they have won in the past 4 years including a recent win over regionally ranked Minot State. Is the league down? Creampuff scheduling? New coach? A strong 'NO!' from VCSU Athletic Director Doug Peters answers those questions quickly. 'It is scholarship funding. The success we are seeing is a direct result of the 20% increase our coaches received in Century Club Scholarships.'
Like most athletic departments, Valley City State University athletic scholarships are almost entirely funded externally. The coaches depend on the dollars that are raised though the annual memberships drive of the Viking Century Club, the fundraising arm of Viking Athletics. Last year proved to be a record year for the Century Club as over $110,000 was raised from fans, friends, and alumni of the athletic department. Increased Century Club membership equals increased scholarship funding, which results in more competitive athletic teams according to Peters. 'It is no secret that you are able to recruit a higher caliber student-athlete when you have more scholarship money to offer.'
New head volleyball coach Kari Peterson made the most of the extra funding. 'I know that the extra Century Club dollars allowed me to go out and get two impact players in Heidi Larson and Meagan Floerke while retaining the players that had been in the program' Peterson commented. 'Without that bump, our progress would have been slowed considerably.'
Veteran football coach Dennis McCulloch sees other benefits. 'It is getting more and more competitive to recruit regional kids. The extra funding has allowed us to better compete with the Jamestown’s, Minot’s and Mayville’s of the league for in-state kids.' McCulloch continued, 'As coaches we all know that scholarship funding is the lifeblood of our programs. When you look at the Century Club membership list you’ll see all our full-time coaches are members.'
The membership drive runs annually at the beginning of each athletic year and Century Club Directors are currently soliciting memberships for the 05-06 year. Membership levels begin at the $150 level ranging to the $10,000 level. Membership benefits include season tickets, Viking logo merchandise, preferred parking at events and a variety of other benefits. Perhaps the most important benefit of all is the sense of satisfaction that members get from knowing that their donation has made the difference in the lives of Viking student-athletes and the success Viking teams have in the arena of competition.
'The Century Club has set an aggressive goal,' stated Board President Ron Moser. 'We feel that successful athletic teams are important to the university and community and we are committed to doing everything we can to make that happen.'