First-year coach leads Parkview to first-ever trip to state tournament
ORFORDVILLE First-year coaches aren’t supposed to take their teams to state.
There’s usually a two to three-year adjustment period as the coach and players adapt to the transition.
That wasn’t the case with Orfordville Parkview’s baseball program.
The Vikings, under first-year coach Troy Aasen, will be making the school’s first trip to state this week. Parkview (21-7) plays Saint Mary Central (19-4) in a WIAA Division 3 state semifinal game at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute.
Parkview finished third in the Rock Valley South Conference this season, but the Vikings have been on a roll since losing a doubleheader to Beloit Turner in early May. The Vikings have won 11 of their last 12, including seven straight.
Aasen said talent was never an issue. There was plenty of it on the junior-dominated roster.
“I’ve coached the juniors on this team since they were nine years old,” Aasen said. “We’ve played in some big tournaments over the years, and these kids know they can play with the best. They’ve proven that.
“They’re a great group of kids who do just about everything together—both on and off the field.”
Parkview’s postseason run has been fueled by the one-two pitching combination of Jameson Lavery and Trevor Aasen. Those two have allowed only four runs in four tournament games, including Lavery’s no-hitter in a 1-0 regional win over Cambridge.
Lavery will get the start against Saint Mary Central. The junior is only 5-4 on the year, but has a sparkling ERA of 1.62. He is averaging nearly two strikeouts per inning, with 101 in 72 innings.
Trevor Aasen, the coach’s son, is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in 57 2/3 innings.
“They’ve both been outstanding all season,” coach Aasen said. “Jameson lost a couple of games because we didn’t score any runs for him, so his record is kind of deceiving. They both throw strikes, and the defense behind them has been exceptional.”
Parkview batted .295 as a team during the regular season, led by Aasen (.365, 19 RBIs) and Charlie Thole (.349, 15 RBIs). The Vikings are not a power team—Jarrett Warden hit the team’s only home run this season—but have good speed up and down the lineup.
Junior Elliott Olsen (.289, 9 SBs) starts in left, junior Brendan Neal (.273, 8 SBs) in center and senior Larry Kyser in right. Kyser is the only senior on the roster.
The infield sets up with junior Riley Pearson (.289, 6 doubles) or Thole (30 hits) at third, junior Alex Hauri (.271, 20 walks) at short, Warden, a junior, at second and sophomore Nick Henning (.333, 12 RBIs) at first. Aasen and Lavery share the catching duties, depending on who’s pitching.
Saint Mary Central won the Olympian Conference, and like Parkview, enters state play on a roll. The Zephyrs have won 12 of their last 13.
Parkview will likely face John Quigley on Wednesday. The lefthander is 9-2 on the year with a 1.52 ERA.
“I’m sure Quigley is very good, but we saw (Justin) Langley of Clinton twice this year and he’s one of the best lefthanders in the state,” coach Aasen said.
“Once you get to this point of the season, you hope your best players cancel out their best players. Then it comes down to someone else stepping up with the big hit or making a big play in the field. That’s something that everyone on this team has done at some point this season.”
Coach Aasen hopes that trend continues at state.