A recap of the vikings football season
The Bigfork Vikings’ football season can be described as nothing short of awe inspiring. The team fought out a 9-3 season, going deep into the playoffs and ending the year as the second best team in the state. Their season did not come without hardships, including losing junior number 24, Dane Hansen. Hansen was a devoted member of the team as both a player and a brother. Despite their loss and grief, the team battled out what Bigfork’s football team has not done in 11 years, compete in the state championship.
The Vikes started their season with vigor leaving behind a 6-0 record, five out of the six being landslide wins. Their first loss was against the Eureka Lions who they later beat 7-3 in the semifinal playoff game, leading them to be one of two teams to compete in the Class B State Championship alongside Florence Carlton.
Their road to state started long before the playoffs even began though, as they worked both mentally and physically to put themselves in the best position possible. The majority of returning team members spent their early summer mornings in the weight room with Coach Adam Jordt. Long physical preparation made way for the mental preparation they would take on during the season.
Coach Jim Benn introduced the Pyramid of Greatness back in 2020, during his first season as Bigfork High School’s head football coach. It features a hierarchy of characteristics that lead to great players and great men. Each week the Vikings were given a characteristic to focus on during the game, among those characteristics were “compete”, “effort”, “enthusiasm” and “we will.” Finding a common goal brought the players together to play as one. Benn continually told the players throughout the season “When you all play together, you are unstoppable.”
Senior lineman, number 74, Braeden Guse confirms this statement when he says “I realized that I wasn’t just fighting to win but I was fighting for my brothers. I’ll never give up on my teammates because I know they’d never give up on me.”
Benn also coined the phrase “get to” during the 2020 season, a mentality that taught the team to appreciate the moment and fight for the next as Covid 19 threatened to cancel sports seasons all over the country. The expression continued into the 2021 season. Patrick Wallen, senior quarterback, number 2, simply stated in regards to the season, “We got to.”
Jackson Abney, a senior free safety, number 21, also laments, “Through the ups and the downs, this team was the greatest thing that I will ever be a part of. It’s been a heck of a journey and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Though the Vikes long and hard fought season ended with a second place trophy, the team left it all out on the field and became a team to replicate for years to come.