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3-time reigning Division 2 baseball champ Denmark Vikings enter new era with 2 head coaches

3-time reigning Division 2 baseball champ Denmark Vikings enter new era with 2 head coaches
Posted at 9:49 PM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-29 13:08:51-04

DENMARK — The Denmark Vikings baseball team has had a historic run over the last three seasons winning three consecutive Division 2 titles.

This year there’s a lot of change – a lot of new faces on the diamond and two new head coaches in the dugout. That's right, two head coaches.

“There's so much history and we have so high expectations every year,” said senior pitcher and first baseman Grant Schroeder. “Nothing has changed. We just got to keep working and it all starts here.”

A lot has changed since hoisting up their third straight state title trophy last year. Legendary head coach Bill Miller departed the program after 3 decades with the Vikings.

“It was surprising,” said senior pitcher and shortstop Jaycob Dittmer. “He’s been here for so long it was different seeing not him as the main name of Denmark.”

How big are Miller's shoes to fill? There’s 2 new head coaches.

“It's a little weird, but I just think of them as coaches,” Schroeder said. “It’s all the same in my mind.”

Luke Krashnewski who has been a long time assistant is one of them. 

“Luke takes care of all the pitching,” said the other head coach Chris DeLarwelle. “I think he has for the last 15 years. I stay away from that as much as i can.”

DeLarwelle is there to help the hitters.

“The thing that we’re missing on our team is hitting and that’s what he’s here to do is help us hit,” said Dittmer.

DeLarwelle brings a lot of hitting experience, he played in the Minnesota Twins minor league system. 

“I remember going to spring training and having Tony Oliva help me out,” he said. “For those old people who know that is, especially who like the twins, when you got a Hall of Famer helping you out, it’s kind of cool.”

The two head coaches have a familiar face lending a hand, Bill Miller is still around to help out.

“It's pretty nice,” said senior catcher Ebyn LaForest. "It's pretty nice. He's in a little better mood for sure.”

“He knows every little piece of the field that you could imagine,” said DeLarwelle. “The teaching part of it, the rules, it’s so huge to have him around and I'm learning from him as we go.”

Despite the high standard the program has set for themselves, this season they’re just putting their heads down and getting to work..

“I hope these kids are looking at getting better each day and if we can get our pitching going and we get our defense going and hopefully our hitting steps up, we should be in good shape,” said DeLarwelle.

The Vikings kick off their season at Fox Valley Lutheran on Tuesday, April 2nd.