Viking boys bring confident attitude into season
CARIBOU, Maine — After winning back-to-back Class B state titles in 2019 and 2020 and then an Aroostook League title during the 2020-21 season, which was abbreviated due to COVID-19, the Viking boys went into rebuild mode last year.
Caribou finished with a 5-13 record, a 12th-place finish in the standings and a preliminary-round loss.
Still, Coach Kyle Corrigan found plenty of positives to draw on from the campaign.
Caribou concluded the year with back-to-back victories over Presque Isle and Washington Academy. The team had also pulled off a midseason upset win over Foxcroft Academy, which finished as the No. 3 seed in the region.
“The way they ended the season made the guys hungry,” Corrigan said. “We finished with a tough schedule but we started to play some consistent basketball the last three weeks. The kids really bought into the system throughout the year and were focused this off-season on getting better at the things we needed to improve on.”
Caribou has 15 players on this year’s roster and Corrigan said he is impressed with the balance and the depth on display.
“We usually go seven or eight deep, but this year we have nine or 10 guys that we could be getting into the rotation regularly,” Corrigan said. “The group we have is really well rounded and ability-wise, they are all right there with each other – it’s a great situation to have.
“The most important thing for our team is that whenever your number is called, that you are ready to go,” he added.
The Vikings roster includes seniors Reece Cavagnaro, Henry Hebert, Liam Dee, Wesley LaPointe, Avery Thibodeau and Blake Anderson; juniors Dylan Bouchard and Sam Hebert; sophomores Kayden Sargent, Brayden Brescia, Tristan Robbins and Dawson St. Pierre; and freshmen Owen Corrigan and Landen Belanger.
“We had a really productive summer with these guys and a few traveled downstate for spring ball and they all worked hard in the off-season to put themselves in a good position this year,” Corrigan said. “This team has a great attitude and their confidence is high heading into the season.”
The coach was impressed with the team’s play during a recent preseason tournament, which included contests against Class A Brewer and Class B South squads Gray-New Gloucester and Lake Region.
“If we want to be successful, we’re going to have to defend at a high level every game,” Corrigan said. “Offensively we need to play with a lot of confidence and pace, and work to get high-percentage shots within our offense.”
The managers are senior Cameron Belanger and sophomore Parker Adams. Ben Rosser and Alex Bouchard are the assistant coaches.