Valley City State is scheduled to have its football players report fall camp next Wednesday with practice starting the next day. The Vikings were 4-6 overall last season and 3-5 in the Dakota Athletic Conference.
VCSU head coach Dennis McCulloch, who is entering his 18th season, said the offensive and defensive lines, linebackers and quarterback are three positions areas that are important to solidify during fall camp.
- Offensive/defensive line: The Vikings return three strong players on the offensive line in center Kevin Murphy and tackles Major Hopp and Charlie Wellman. “Those guys are solid guys who we know are going to be a core for us and the other guys are all competing,” McCulloch said. McCulloch said Jordan Maher and Garrett Jackson are two players who are expected to anchor the defensive line.
- Linebackers: The Vikings lost two stalwarts at this spot with Kevin Strang and Coty Beck as they both completed their football eligibility last fall. McCulloch expects Devin Aedo, Alex Hooey and Josh Hooey to make up for the loss of Strang and Beck. The Hooey brothers played at Fargo South.
- Quarterback: Junior Tommy Zinke is holding down the No. 1 spot heading into fall camp. “It’s really his job to lose right now,” said McCulloch, who said junior transfer Logan McAllister could also figure into the quarterback mix.
Hot reads: The Vikings return their top receiving threat in LeTheo Proctor, who caught 36 passes for 478 yards and two touchdowns last season. … VCSU is scheduled to play its first game on its newly installed artificial turf field on Sept. 1 when the Vikings host Morningside College. The football field has been named after Shelly Ellig, the founder of Fargo-based Stop-N-Go stores, in recognition of Ellig’s major contribution to the project. Ellig died in October 2010 at the age of 81. “I think everybody is excited,” McCulloch said of the new artificial turf. “It’s like getting a new toy for Christmas.”