As another prep football season beings in Holmen, there's one thing that comes to mind when it comes to Vikings football: Steve King.
The longtime head coach of the Vikings has become synonymous with Friday nights in Holmen. His career has spanned four different decades, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
"I don't call this going to work," he says. "I'm going to school, I'm going to coach. I still have that fire in my belly."
That fire has been burning in Steve King for quite some time, specifically since 1987, the year he took over for Jerry Binder as head coach of the Vikings.
He remembers it like it was last season.
"It was the first year Holmen ever made the playoffs. We finished second in our league," King said. "We did a lot of nice things that year and had our kids believing from the get-go."
King admits kids have changed since then, but he has evolved with them.
"I've taken where I don't yell as much anymore. Kids had thick skin back then." he said. "Nowadays, you almost have to take a kid and sit them down and explain what they did wrong and go about in a good demeanor."
One thing that hasn't changed is the support King gets at home, starting with is wife Mary.
"My wife, she's a saint. She puts up with me, whenever I'm home," he said. "But my wife has given up a great deal for my career."
Holmen graduates and high school sweethearts, Steve and Mary have been married for 41 years.
"It's ritual. She's always coming on the field afterwards and she gives me a hug and a kiss. I'm lucky that way," he said.
King also cherishes his Friday nights, and he'll do so again this fall for a 28th season as head coach.
"The best reward I get as a head coach is after a game, a hard-fought game that we've come out on top, seeing the smiles on my athletes' faces, looking at my assistant coaches, seeing the smiles on their faces," King said. "That makes it all worthwhile."
His Vikings earned such a win Friday night against Chippewa Falls, edging them 14-13 in the closing seconds. They'll look to defend their Mississippi Valley Conference championship this season.