For the second straight season, Holmen is the hot pick to win the Mississippi Valley Conference.
The Vikings fell 4 points shy of a perfect conference mark in 2012. They lost to Central by 3 and dropped a 1 point game to Aquinas. Holmen ended up 4-2 finishing in second place behind conference champion Central.
Holmen this season hopes to take the lessons learned from that disappointing outcome to capture their first MVC title since 2003.
Wanting to attack the quarterback a bit more on defense, head coach Steve King has spent the preseason switching their defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme.
"We want to get after it a little bit this year, get aggressive," said King. "Not that we were not happy with our 4-3, but we thought with all the linebacker types that we had coming back that a 3-4 may be better suited for us."
King says the loss to Aquinas had a little bit to do with the switch. A 4th quarter Michael Conway touchdown pass proved to be the difference.
"We wanted to put a little bit more pressure on the offensive teams, make them make decisions instantly instead of maybe sitting back in the pocket."
Standout senior Greg Rooney will move from defensive end to linebacker to accommodate the switch.
"It's going really smooth actually, smoother than I anticipated," said Rooney. "But yeah I really like it. We'll see how it works on game day but I think it will definitely help us out."