Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Kevin Hulten 

The Ike Special:Vikings’ on-field actions inspire a nation


October 4, 2010

“You have a choice to join the football team, but after that, there’s no choice - you become a leader. We’ve lost a friend. Tyler is gone, okay? And now everyone will look to you (points to the varsity squad assembled in Coach Cronin’s portable) for leadership. Ninety- nine percent of your fellow students admire you... and the one percent who dont, the one percent who say they hate football players...those are the ones who admire you most of all but are too insecure to admit it. They will look to you for answers and for protection. And you have to answer that call. Why? If we don’t lead, who will? Because if not us, who then? It’s your legacy. It’s your decision.” Coach Tom Tri, Monday, September 27, 2010, following the death of 2010 Viking graduate Tyler Reside.

“My family and I just read about the touchdown that you made possible for Ike Ditzenberger... I wish that (Viking) spirit was in every human being. It restores our faith in humanity. Thank you so much for that!!!!!!!!!! Keep up the good work we are proud of you!!!” - The Mundt Family, Union, Missouri, via email, Sept. 28

“After all the bad news in my own life lately (lost my house and job on the same day, last Friday), the way the Vikings responded was a much needed pleasure. God Bless you coach, your staff, and of course, those wonderful players of yours.” - D. K. Adey, Powder Springs, GA, via email, Sept. 28.

The above quotes are real. And they represent only a small fraction of wonderful and unbelievable things that people are saying about Viking football all across the nation. FOR REAL!

Sometimes people just need something to feel good about. Sometimes timing and coincidence are strange forces.

Inside the Lake Stevens Vikings program, hearts are heavy, and minds are focused on the numbing loss of Tyler Reside. Outside of the program, the story surrounding his death has currently gone unreported.

However, a video of the last play of last week’s Snohomish game (with special needs player Ike Ditzenberger scoring a touchdown thanks to the cooperation of the Viking defense) has become literally one of the biggest stories in the country.

The story has continued to grow exponentially (2.3 million views at press time) throughout the last week because across the country, people are stopping to watch 44 seconds of Viking football, and they are SO inspired by what they see on that film that they are sitting down at their computer and writing gushing letters to people they don’t even know, often times thousands of miles away, often through tears...and the reason they are writing is because they have identified a unique honor and ethos in the manner in which the Vikings handle themselves on this short video.

There’s a lot more to this story then appears in the clip shot by Tony Soper (search “Ike special” or visit the Journal website)... or in the two paragraph write up that has been sent around the world and back with the video.

But here’s one thing that is beyond debate: Lake Stevens Vikings are class. The Vikings were class last year when they came up with the original idea to let Ike Ditzenberger score a touchdown at LSHS last year, and they acted with complete class again this year when the situation arose in a different manner at Snohomish.

Regardless, the manner in which the Vikings comported themselves on the field last Friday has LITERALLY inspired MILLIONS of people.

Tony Soper’s video was picked up by Yahoo! spread to Fox News, MSNBC, Sports Illustrated, CNN, Rivals, AP, Reuters and countless other sites.

The youtube view count was well over 1.2 million in less than three days, and has nearly doubled that total again.

The Viking staff, the Lake Stevens Journal and the Purple and Gold Pigskin blog have been deluged with email. Some of the responses are literally beyond belief.

Example: a family in Union Missouri says that the Vikings “restored (their)faith in humanity” and that the Vikings spirit “should be in every human being”

There is a small sample of ACTUAL responses from new Viking fans across the country. For even more responses visit the Purple & Gold Pigskin blog at

Dear Students and Faculty of Lake Stevens,

My family and I just read about the touchdown that you made possible for Ike Ditzenberger. We just want to say “Awesome”!!!! I wish that your spirit was in every school and as a matter of fact every human being. It restores our faith in humanity. Thank you so much for that!!!!!!!!!! Keep up the good work we are proud of you!!!

Sincerely the Mundt Family,

Union, Missouri


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