MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Bethany Lutheran College Vikings are raising the bar with high expectations as student-athletes begin practicing with their teams again.
The Vikings have become a force in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) over recent years, setting numerous program records.
Whether that be the men’s or women’s basketball team advancing to the NCAA tournament and making noise on that stage or the baseball team making back-to-back national tournament appearances in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The softball team also made program history by earning its first regular-season conference title in 2019, a season where the Vikings finished with 27 victories.
Both soccer programs are also on the rise after advancing to the conference tournament for the first time in a few years. One of the key factors to that success comes from the leadership at the college.
”One thing I can do is try to bring a coaching staff that is not only versed in the X’s and O’s but also recruiting. President Gene Pfeifer came on board, we were able to do some things to enhance what we do in recruiting dollars,” explained Athletics Director Don Westphal. “The numbers went up, therefore we need more assistance from a development and retention standpoint, that was enhanced as well.“
Now, the focus shifts toward how far some of these programs can go this year despite many unknowns that still need to be sorted out before competition takes place.
”I see nothing but brighter days as we continue. I credit all of our teams in making a tough decision, they’re here in Mankato, in the classroom and ready to get doing athletic things again too,” Westphal added.