Elk River Elks spring sports previews

ELK BASEBALL

Coaches – Ryan Holmgren (head, 1st year) …. Eric Ostmoe (assistant), Ryan Klingelhofer (pitching), Josh Juntunen (JV), Jason Juntunen (B), Jake Hillesheim (B/JV assistant), Skip Swanson (9th A), Mark Angstman (9th B)
Opener – April 5 at Coon Rapids
Returning starters – Sam Krick (sr OF, all-conf), Corey Collins (sr SS, 2B), Tucker Morrell (sr IF-P), Porter Morrell (jr C), Brandon Meyer (so P-IF) … Other returning varsity – Logan Paige (sr C), Garret Ott (sr 1B), Gabe Vicioso (sr P), Josh Martin (sr IF), Tim Sanford (jr 1B), Terry Hadden (jr P), Brady Givens (jr IF)
Coach says – “Strengths are experience, infield play, dedication to baseball in the off season and team leadership. We have seniors who have had success leading other teams, mainly football and basketball. I’m looking for that type of leadership to continue with baseball, specifically with Corey Collins and the Morrell brothers.”
Main concerns – “We are still relatively young. … Our pitching depth … There is a new system and new leadership in place … I’m hoping we can adapt and focus on improvement into May and be reaching our potential as the section approaches.”

ELK GOLF, GIRLS

Coaches – Dave Bleyhl (head), Phil Johnson (assistant)
Opener – April 12, home
Returning starters – Sadie Martin (sr), Ashlee Lindeen (sr), Alex McDonald (sr)
Also in the mix – Samantha Lindeen (fr), Morgan Bleyhl (8th), Makayla Conrath (sr), Alex Dieterichs (sr), Mary Elmquist (jr)
Conference dynasty – Elks have three straight conference titles, and placed fifth at state last year.
Coach says – “We have good work ethic, a great golf course and facilities … (Goals are) to do well, have fun.”

ELK GOLF, BOYS

Coaches – Dave Conley (head), Phil Johnson
Opener – April 19 at Coon Rapids
Returning starters – Alex Kline (sr), Cooper Bleyhl (jr), Garrett Turnacliff (fr) …Other lettermen – Mitch Nelson (jr), Jordan Peterson (sr)
Going strong – Elks have 6 straight conference titles and 2 straight state trips
Coach says – “Alex Kline has been all-conference and gone to state 3 years. He should be one of the top 10 players in state … We have inexperience. We hope to improve enough to win conference and section.”

ELK SOFTBALL

Coaches – Stacy Sheetz (head), McKayla Kroll (assistant), Amy Kahl (B), Amy Schiebel (9th), Julie Steuter, Pam Gothe
Opener – April 11 at Anoka
Returning starters – Bethani Athey (sr C), Dani Edwards (sr U), Kathi Opsahl (jr OF), Austyn Beese (jr IF), Sidney Schwindel (jr DH), Michaela Burns (so U), Courtney Jenson (so P-1B)
Other letterwinners – Alivia Lensing (so OF), Jessica Neuman (so OF), Ali Krohn (fr OF) … In the mix — Anna Pipenhagen (so P), Sydney Person (so OF), Alyssa Germscheid (fr U), Kaylee Roche (fr IF)
Coach says – “We have hard-working, determined girls, passionate about softball. Many can play multiple positions and are willing do what it takes to have the best team on the field. We have some depth and strength in pitching. We will have a young team, so just getting them experienced … Goals are to play together, believe in each other, win our first NWSC title, beat Brainerd and make it to state.”

ELK TENNIS, BOYS

Coach – Randy Ronning
Opener – April 10, Coon Rapids
Returning starters – Ryan Ness (sr), Mitchell Brandell (sr), Dylan Berger (sr), Jesse Bragg (sr), Josh Chuba (jr), Logann Burns (so), Nathan Chanthamontry (so), Josh Gearou (fr), Sam Gearou (fr) … Key newcomer – Matt Odegard (sr)
Going strong – Elks have 6 straight trips to state and placed 4th place year with one senior … Were 10-0 conference and 24-4 overall … Six players with between 119 and 57 career wins
Coach says – “We are recognized as a top-five team in the state, and elite program (in recent years) … This the year we might be able to challenge the top programs and have our best chance at a state championship.”

ELK TRACK, GIRLS

Coaches – Russ Gnan (head, sprints), Brian Gilbertson (distance), Brenda Holmgren (hurdles), Doug Bloom (pole vault), Bill Martell (long and triple jump), Kirstin Anderson (high jump), Dave Anderson (discus), Wayne Becklin (shot), Mike Cross (sprints)

Opener – Tuesday, home triangular

Returning starters – Dani Detloff (sr, sprints, jumps),  Kelly Edwards (sr, sprints, jumps), Alana Embury (sr, sprints, jumps, pole vault), Jenna Kivley (so, sprints, jumps), Logan Daulton (so, sprints, jumps), Josie Brown (sr, sprints), Mollie McLain (sr, jumps), Lindsey Lowe (jr, hurdles, jumps), Jordyn Sohns (jr, hurdles, jumps, relays), Abbi McDonald (jr, mid distance, relays, Chelsey Petrich (jr, mid distance), Anna Haugen (jr, mid distance), Erin Ness (so, distance), Rachel Ness (8th, distance), Lindsey Madden (sr, high jump), Molly Detloff (so, throws, sprints), Taylor Odegard (fr, distance), Samantha Hendricks (fr, distance, sprints, jumps), Laura Crepeau (sr, pole vault, sprints). Chelsea Schlegel (jr, distance, transfer from Zimmerman)
Also back – Sophie Zabee (so, throws), Katrina Dufresne (sr, pole vault)

Team strengths – Sprints, distance runners, jumps

Main concerns – Depth of throwers, hurdlers, vaulters

Coach says – “I am assuming the girls want to achieve similar accomplishments to what we have done as a team in the past (two straight conference and true-team section championships) and what they have done as individuals.”
ELK TRACK, BOYS

Coaches –  Brian Gilbertson (head, distance), Russ Gnan (sprints), Brenda Holmgren (hurdles), Doug Bloom (pole vault), Bill Martell (long and triple jump), Kirstin Anderson (high jump), Dave Anderson (discus), Wayne Becklin (shot), Mike Cross (sprints)

Opener – Tuesday, home triangular

Returning starters – Seniors Dylan Sullivan, Kevin Weeks, Zach Brown, Pierce Heston, Cole Konczal, Blake Thompson … Juniors Logan Grace, Alec Plaisted, Connor Hanson, Riley Filipovich, Bryan Edwards, Derek Cross, Fanaka Ndege, Jordan Meyer, Mitch Peterzen, Jacob Schroeder, Ryan Trapp, Nate Webster … Sophomores  Nate Wallestad, Austin Larson, Rob Burger, Aaron Balcolm, Breck Hickman, Stephan Thomas … 8th grader  Lucas Trapp

Coach says – “The coaches are very encouraged.The depth will be great. The question will be, who will step up to the elite level you need to score well at the conference and section. The 80 degree weather in the first week of practice has been a blessing.”

Strengths – Could have strong 4-by-400 and 4-by-800 with Ryan and Trapp, Ndege, Grace, Filipovich and Conczal … Team size has grown from low 60’s to the mid 90’s in three years,  very important for the true team meet as well as pushing each other in practices and in meets.

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