Vikings win athletic honors
A North Branch athlete, coach and alumna all won athletic honors of various kinds last week. Senior quarterback Aaron Robillard was named among the Star Tribune Prep Athletes of the Week for his performance in the Vikings’ 50-30 victory over Princeton Sept 1. Robillard threw for 287 yards and a pair of touchdowns while also picking up 176 yards and four scores on the ground. Head football coach Sam Ferraro was featured on WCCO’s High School Pep Rally show as the program’s Coach of the Week. WCCO, in partnership with the Minnesota Vikings, will provide a $1,000 gift to the North Branch activities department as part of the award. North Branch grad Casey Hovland, a senior cross-country runner at the College of St. Scholastica, was named Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Runner of the Week after winning the St. Norbert College Tom Barry Invitational Sept. 2. Hovland ran the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 59.6 seconds, beating the next-best finisher by a minute and a half.
Busy week ahead for undefeated NB volleyball
The North Branch volleyball team remained unbeaten after scoring a comfortable win over Mississippi 8 foe Buffalo Sept. 7, 25-18, 25-19, 25-17. Sophomore Cianna Selbitschka led the Vikings in three categories: kills (13), digs (nine) and aces (four). Junior Lydia Langevin hit 10 kills, senior Maddie Hadrava scored six and senior Katelyn Berg added five, while also contributing seven digs, a number equalled by senior Sophie Linder. Sophomore Haley Hadrava made 31 set assists. The Vikings are in the midst of a busy week: Having played Cambridge-Isanti on Tuesday after press time, the Vikings will go to St. Francis Thursday and are set to host an eight-team tournament on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. Carlton, Cloquet, Esko, Hibbing, Princeton, St. Francis and Sartell-St. Stephen make up the rest of the bracket.
Captains lead boys soccer past Proctor
The two captains of the North Branch boys soccer team each scored a goal in a 2-0 home victory over Proctor Sept. 9, the Vikings’ first win of the season. Connor Mattson netted a first-half goal, then Jose Elzarraga Flor doubled the advantage in the second half. The goals were Flor’s third of the season, and Mattson’s first. The Vikings (1-4-0) went to St. Francis late Tuesday after press time and will face home tests this week against Rogers (Thursday, 7 p.m.) and Spectrum (Saturday, 11 a.m.).
NB tennis edged twice
The North Branch girls tennis team lost two close Mississippi 8 matches last week, falling 4-3 to Chisago Lakes Sept. 6 and to Monticello by the same score Sept. 7. Against Chisago the Vikings scored wins at No. 3 singles (freshman Sophie Smith), No. 2 doubles (senior Pyper Quinn and freshman Rachel Wurdemann) and No. 3 doubles (junior Amanda Scarborough and freshman Chloe Moline). Smith and Scarborough/Moline were winners again in the Monticello match. Wurdemann also won again in doubles, joined in that bout by senior Sam Pederson. The Vikings also lost to St. Francis 5-2 on Monday and travelled to Big Lake on Tuesday after press time. They will return home to meet St. Michael-Albertville on Thursday.
NB girls soccer splits
The North Branch girls soccer team split a pair of blowout games last week. After losing to Class AA No. 16 St. Michael-Albertville 6-1 Sept. 7, the Vikings recovered by blowing out Grand Rapids 5-1 the following day. The Vikings played St. Francis at home Tuesday after press time, and will make road trips to Rogers Thursday and Legacy Christian Academy Saturday.