Vikings step up their prep game

The Vikings have taken a number of steps to increase their presence in Minnesota high school football.

Coach awards: Coach of the week honors, given 10 times each season, including a $1,000 stipend for the coach's program plus, new this year, $1,000 worth of Gatorade products. The coach of the year receives a $2,000 award.

Program of the year: A $10,000 annual award given to a school that best shows it gets into football and has strong community support. Includes a community "takeover'' for a day by the Vikings. Caledonia won the award in 2015 and Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta last year.

Honoring the best: The team selects an all-state team each year and hosts the Football Showcase game featuring top seniors at U.S. Bank Stadium.

In the works for Eagan: Hosting Friday night football games during the regular season, along with postseason football, soccer and lacrosse at the team's new practice facility. Talks with the Minnesota State High School League about this are expected to resume soon.