Final Vikings Training Camp in Mankato Hits Home for Owatonna Fan
Sports enthusiast Todd Walkingstick considers Mankato his second home. He and his children attended school there and Vikings training camp has been there for the past five decades.
Walkingstick is a Vikings season ticket holder, but also has made training camp a regular pilgrimage over the past 24 years. The team recently announced that this year, the 52nd in Mankato, will be the last. Camp will be held at their new facility in Eagan, which is still under construction.
Walkingstick says in his interview with KRFO that his first gut feeling was that he would probably not go to the Twin Cities for training camp in 2018, but his wife believes that he will. And he now thinks he will as well.
Access to players is the most significant change Walkingstick has noticed over the years. He says you could practically walk on the field during the Bud Grant days. Now many more fences exist to keep the fans at a further distance. Walkingstick still finds a way to get pictures with the players, as you can view on his Facebook page.
He is excited for the entire rookie class that just reported on Sunday. Running back Dalvin Cook was the top pick of the Vikings, who look to replace Adrian Peterson. Veterans report Wednesday with the first full squad workout on Thursday, July 27. Walkingstick gives his rundown of the biggest questions for the team in the interview below.
Tuesday, August 8, will be the final day of practice at Minnesota State University-Mankato according to the Vikings' website.
Walkingstick also hosts an online local sports interview program called Beyond the Game. In the July 20 release, he talks with Owatonna Aces pitcher and OHS assistant baseball coach Brandon Wolf, Medford High School athlete Luke Johnston and incoming Owatonna High School athletic hall of fame member Nicole McCann.