News Photo
All Sports - Thu, Sep. 21, 2017

Valley City State University will induct two teams and six individuals into the Viking Athletic Hall of Fame during Homecoming Weekend in October.

The 2000 and 2001 football teams will be inducted, along with three team members: Jeremy Peschel, Ben Aarestad and Steve Battle. Longtime coach and supporter Dave Bass and volleyball players Scheryl Kottsick and Kelli Geurtz will also be inducted.

The 2017 Hall of Fame Class will be honored Friday, Oct. 13, during an induction ceremony at the Valley City Eagles Club. Each 2017 inductee, including team members, will receive two complimentary tickets to the banquet. Additional tickets may be purchased for $20 each by calling the VCSU Foundation office (701-845-7203). The event starts with a social at 5 p.m. and the induction ceremony and dinner at 6 p.m. Attendees are asked to RSVP by Thursday, Oct. 5.

2000 Football Team
The 2000 Viking football team won a share of the Dakota Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the NAIA national Playoffs.

The Vikings posted a 9-2 overall record that season, including an 8-1 record in conference play. The Vikings tied with Huron for the regular season conference championship. VCSU advanced to the NAIA National Playoffs where they hosted Carroll College at the Fargodome, falling 24-21.

Wide receiver Steve Battle was named 2nd Team All American and quarterback Jeremy Peschel was named conference MVP. Seven Vikings earned 1st Team All Conference, including Peschel, Battle, Mark Rerick, Darin Walters, Ben Aarestad, Brent Miller and James Thornton.

Head coach was Dennis McCulloch and assistant coaches were Cory Anderson, Gregg Horner, Lenny Doerfler and Dave Rausch.

2001 Football Team
The 2001 Viking football team also went 9-2 overall and 8-1 in conference play, advancing to the NAIA National Playoffs for the second year in a row.

VCSU started the season 9-0 before losing to conference champion University of Mary in the final regular season game. The Vikings played at Carroll College in the playoffs, losing a 45-27 contest.

Wide receiver Steve Battler and linebacker Ben Aarested were both named 2nd Team All American, and quarterback Jeremy Peschel was named conference MVP for the second  year in a row. Eight Vikings earned 1st Team All Conference, including Peschel, Battle, Aarestad, Justin Wieseler, Brent Miller, James Thornton, Mike Silbernagel and David Rowe.

Head coach was Dennis McCulloch and assistant coaches were Cory Anderson, Gregg Horner, Nat Hill, Dave Rausch and Jamie Nelson.

Jeremy Peschel
A four-year starter at quarterback, Peschel helped take the Vikings from an 0-10 season his freshman year to back-to-back playoff appearances in his junior and senior seasons.

The Vikings posted a 25-6 record during Peschel's final three seasons. He ended his career as the school's all-time leader in pass completions (563), passing yards (7,751), passing touchdowns (70), total offensive yards (8,403) and total touchdowns (81).

Peschel was named conference MVP in both his junior and senior seasons. He was honorable mention All Conference as a freshman and sophomore, and 1st Team All Conference as a junior and senior. He was also honorable mention All American during his junior season. Peschel also excelled on the baseball field, earning two All Conference baseball honors during his VCSU career.

Steve Battle
A three-time All American, Battle excelled as a dynamic receiver for the Vikings from 1999 to 2002.

Battle burst onto the scene as a sophomore during the 2000 season, returning three kickoffs for touchdowns in addition to his receiving prowess. He was named 2nd Team All American and 1st Team All Conference. He repeated those same honors as a junior, and then was named the conference's Most Valuable Graduating Senior in 2002, along with earning honorable mention All American.

VCSU posted a 32-9 record and made two playoff appearances during Battle's career.

Ben Aarestad
A fierce linebacker, Aarestad was a three-time 1st Team All Conference selection during his Viking football career from 1998 to 2001.

He was named Team Defensive MVP his final three years, along with earning 1st Team All Conference those seasons. Aarestad was also named 2nd Team All American during his senior season. The Vikings were 25-6 over his final three seasons, and he posted 235 tackles and 11 sacks as a junior and senior.

Kelli (Geurtz) Heiser
Geurtz excelled in two sports during her VCSU career, earning All Conference honors in both volleyball and softball.

She joined the Viking family as a transfer in 1995 and made an immediate impact on the volleyball court, earning All Conference honors as a junior. As a senior Geurtz helped the Viking volleyball team to a 33-8 overall record, an 11-1 conference record and a regular season conference championship. She was named All Conference and 1st Team All Great Plains, along with earning All Region honors.

On the softball field, Geurtz was named All Conference and All Section after her junior season in 1996.

Scheryl (Kottsick) Bjorndahl
Kottsick starred on the volleyball court from 1999 to 2002 at Valley City State University, earning All Conference each of her four seasons.

After bursting onto the scene as a freshman, Kottsick was named 2nd Team All Conference and conference Freshman of the Year. She continued her career with All Conference honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. She was named the conference's Most Valuable Graduating Senior in 2002.

Dave Bass
Bass had been a fixture at Valley City State University for more than 35 years. He is being inducted for his service as a coach and administrator for Viking athletics.

Bass started his career at VCSU in 1981. He served as the head track & field and cross country coach for 10 years from 1981 to 1991. He was also an assistant football coach for three seasons from 1983-85. Most recently, Bass has been the Faculty Athletic Representative for 20 years and has served nine years as the conference's eligibility chair. He was recently named the 2017 NAIA Faculty Athletic Representative of the Year.

Bass served as a coach for four teams already inducted into the Hall of Fame: 1981 and 1986 cross county, 1983 and 1984 football.