VIBORG, S.D. (KELO)- Back to back state champions. The Cougars claimed the state ‘B’ track and field title in May and then continued their success into football season, where they claimed the class ‘9AA’ state title.
“It started from the football season and track season previous. We all really go out for those sports and and we all just built a bond through those sports. Winning a state championship in football and track really built a bond between us and coming into basketball, we knew that we were all confident with who was going to do what and we all contribute the same way to the basketball team,” Chase Mason said.
Now these state champions have built a special bond amongst their teammates, which is helping them win on the basketball court.
“We have a great group of guys working together. In the classroom and in the school and outside the school, just a great group of guys and we love each other as a family pretty much,” Mason said.
While this team has a lot of talent, they also rely on the great coaches, that Viborg-Hurley provides for their players.
“It comes back to the talent and athletic ability, I think and then I think we have a good coaching staff. Coaches that have pushed the players and the players are easy to push. They want to work hard, they’ve been in the weight room, putting in the time to be good and build themselves as strong as they can be. It’s just a combination of factors. It’s not just one thing that you can point to,” Galen Schoenefeld said.
Since the two schools combined about 6 years ago, the towns of Viborg and Hurley have showed up in full force to cheer on their Cougars.
“Both commuinites have supported their teams very well, going back to the days of just Viborg and Hurley when we were separate so, you know it’s not unusual to see a full bleacher side on the home side,” Schoenefeld said.
“We’ve got a great crowd on every single night and it helps us win every time and it makes us as good as we are, right now,” Eli Boomgarden said.
Much of the recent success that the Cougars have had can be credited to Viborg-Hurley junior and athletic standout, Chase Mason.
“On the court, it’s great because you get big moments all of the time, but off the court it’s even better because you get to practice against the best of the best, every day and it just makes you better every time you play with him,” Boomgarden said.
The Cougar boys are continuing their athletic excellence as they are a perfect 6-0 to start the 2019-2020 basketball season and they find themselves ranked first in the class ‘B’.
“A lot of these kids saw extensive time last year and got to the state tournament last year and they are hungry for more and as a group, they’ve pretty much been a competitive group coming up through the grades and I think that shows on the court,” Schoenefeld said.
The Cougars have had one year of greatness, but it doesn’t look like their winning ways will come to an end soon, as the Cougars only have two seniors on their basketball team.
“It’s very exciting having under-class men coming up and we like to get the younger kids involved so they can come up and have success. The two seniors that we have do have great leadership with us and the younger class men below us to try and get them involved as much as we can and keep building the tradition,” Mason said.
While winning seems to come easy for Viborg-Hurley, the Cougars know they just have to take it one step at a time.
“Not to be cliché, but one game at a time at this point and this early in the season. Just try to improve on each game out,” Schoenefeld said.
Due to a cancellation, the Cougars next game will be in Howard on Monday.