Football Preview: Grand Island Northwest

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Updated: Mon, 09 Sep 2013 08:32:32 CST

2 and 7 to 6 and 4. It was quite a turn around for the Northwest Vikings in 2012 under Head Coach Kevin Stein. But sometimes the hardest thing isn't getting to the top. It's staying there which is the task that awaits in 2013. "We know people aren't looking for us to do a whole lot. But I do think we perform best when we are in the underdog." That was the role Northwest was accustomed to filling until last season when the Vikings flipped the script going 6-4 and making their first playoff appearance in 8 seasons. But most of the experience from last year's unit is gone as the Vikings return only one starter on offense and a pair on defense. "We have to try and conquer it with numbers. Have more depth. Fresher bodies out there. Just try to get more continuity with the more bodies we can put out there," As expected, when you lose that many players you also lose their leadership - a role that many of the underclassmen have been filling in fall camp. "You know our younger kids are really stepping up and being leaders. Our older kids, who are not real vocal leaders are doing a very good job at being good followers. And they have accepted that role and they have accepted being pushed a little bit. Accepted being challenged. And so that's a good maturity level." You know what else is mature? Their schedule. Littered with playoff teams Aurora, McCook and Scottsbluff just to name a few, but the Vikings don't seem to be intimidated. "We were saying, we played with them last year. There is no reason why we can't play with them this year and win." "That's class B football. And they are good programs, and that's where we strive to be. So we'll keep working for ours." And despite a number of factors seemingly working against them, the Vikings still feel that they can duplicate or even top their success from last season. "We don't want to be like all the other past Northwest Viking teams with 2 and 7 records. We want to be better and above last year's team."