McCall takes over as new basketball coach

The AHSTW Vikings have hired longtime assistant basketball coach Jason McCall into the top position for the upcoming season.

“I was hired as the girls head basketball coach earlier this year during the spring,” McCall said. “The position was open for a few weeks before I threw my name in the hat, but I’m glad I made that decision. I had spent the previous five years as an assistant coach for the boys program at the JV and Varsity levels here in the same district. The experience I gained over the past five seasons led me to think I was ready to make the jump over, and take on a program of my own.”

McCall will be taking over for Jill Vanderhoof, who led the Vikings to a 9-15 record last season, including an appearance in the Class 2A – Region 8 Second Round Game losing 51-36 to the Underwood Eagles after beating Missouri Valley 47-42 in the Class 2A – Region 8 First Round Game.

“Jill knew her stuff and the game of basketball. She was a great coach, teacher, and leader that served our community and district the right way,” McCall added. “Jill had a lot of success during her time as a head coach and assistant coach, and was a part of two teams that made the sub-state final. She also was big in helping me in my decision to take the head position. I’m thankful for her advice and wisdom on what it takes to be in my new role.”

During their 2022 campaign, the Vikings were led by Junior Delanay Goshorn with 324 points, Senior Ellie Peterson with 201, and Junior Ella Langer with 149. Peterson led in rebounds with 177, Goshorn with 141, and Junior Saydi Paulsen with 111. Goshorn led in assists with 82, Junior Rylie Knop with 39, and Peterson with 35.

Peterson has graduated, but McCall is looking to the five incoming seniors to help and guide the younger kids.

“The five seniors we have without a doubt; they have displayed tremendous leadership and character over the past few months since I’ve gotten to be around them,” he said. “They’ve held a huge part in the development of the underclassmen, and what is expected of everyone when they enter the gym. It’s almost like having extra coaches in the room with how they communicate, and hold one another accountable.”

The Vikings will tip-off their season Nov. 20 against the Woodbine Tigers. The Tigers went 23-3 last season and made it to the 1A – State Quarterfinal, losing 81-60 to Newell-Fonda, and were led by Charlie Pryor with 398 points, Amanda Newton with 197 rebounds, and Nicole Sherer with 139 assists.

“We start off the year with a tough opponent in Woodbine who made it to Des Moines last year,” McCall said. “We are excited to have them back on the schedule and go out and compete at a high level on opening night. The Western Iowa Conference as a whole makes the schedule tough. I have a lot of respect for this conference, and the great teams that are consistently coming out of it. You can’t take anyone lightly and have to earn each win. The girls are looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead of us and want to play and see teams at their best.”



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