Pelican Rapids multisport athlete Kirby Nelson is well-spoken and articulate, traits he carries over into the sports arena as a competitor for the Vikings. With the regular basketball season drawing to a close Kirby will be a player to watch come playoff time.
Parents: Kim and Derrick Nelson.
Field of study: Undecided.
Plans after graduation: Concordia or Morris.
Sports: Soccer, golf, basketball.
Hobbies: Model airplanes, being outdoors.
Q: The basketball season is entering its home stretch how do you feel the season has gone?
A: I feel like it’s going pretty well. As a team, I’d say we’re very physically capable but right now it’s more of a mental thing, which is good because we can fix that. You can’t always teach talent but we have plenty of talent on our team and I’d say we’re doing well. We’re in a tough stretch of games right now. We have the capability to start winning some games into the offseason here and get some momentum going into the playoffs.
Q: Is it safe to say you feel the biggest hurdle for success this season has been the mental aspect?
A: Yeah, I’d say so. In games we’ll play our tail off but we may not play it in the right fashion, so I’d say if we can really lock that down we’d be a really hard team to beat.
Q: What do you see for the future of the program after you graduate?
A: I think the team has a lot of potential, they have a lot of talent coming up, once this group of seniors is gone you have a great group of juniors, and even looking past that the lower grades as well, there’s a lot of elementary kids who are really involved, really talented, I think Pelican Rapids is going to be back on the rise. We’ve been down the last couple of years, I think they’ll be pretty good after this.
Q: What’s one memory from your sports career that stands out to you more than others?
A: Last fall I was goalkeeper for the soccer team and we had a penalty shootout at the end of the game to see who would win and just that entire shootout is just amazing. You save a couple shots and then once you get the winning save everyone comes and rushes you and … it’s just awesome.
Q: How would you like to be remembered as an athlete here for the Vikings?
A: I’d like to be remembered as someone who was a leader, someone who works hard and people go ‘Wow, this kid, I can get behind him.’