Elk River spring team previews

Following are season previews for Elk River spring sports.


Coach — Randy Ronning
Last year — 10-0, 31-0, conference, section and state champion
Opener — at Shakopee today
Returning starters — Josh Chuba (sr 3S), Nathan Chanthamontry (jr 3D), Josh Gearou (so 1S, 2S), Sam Gearou (so 1S, 2S)
Other lettermen — Logann Burns (jr 3D), Joe Weatherille (jr 3D)
Will also help — Kyle Narum (sr), Micki Ty Osnake (sr), Nick Tran (sr), Jordan Haack (so), Tanner Hermanson (so), Jordan Haack (so), Zeke Delain (fr), Tyler Creelman (8th)
Worth noting — Sam Gearou has 95 wins, Josh Gearou 94, and Josh Chuba 42 … The six seniors gone from the state champ team had 173 wins last season … In NWSC Elks have won six straight titles and 60 straight duals … Have gone to state seven straight years.
Coach says — “With Josh and Sam Gearou at the top, we could win state again, even after losing six seniors, if you’ve got a good supporting  cast, which we do … Josh Chuba is  a huge factor, too … As defending champs, we should be ranked No. 1, as a courtesy, like Mayo last year before they lost three matches. Wayzata and Edina are the others I’d put in the top three … In our conference, Maple Grove is definitely a top-five and Centennial eight or nine.”


Coach — Stacy Sheetz
Last year — 8-7, 14-12
Opener — April 10, Armstrong
Returning starters — Austyn Beese (sr SS), Anna Pipenhagen (jr P), Courtney Jensen (jr 1B), Jessica Neuman (jr 2B), Michaela Bruns (jr C, last year 3B), Ali Krohn (so 3B, last year OF), Kathi Opsahl (sr OF), Jayme Langbehn (fr OF)
Other returning letter winners — Sydney Person (jr OF), Alyssa Germscheid (sr utility)
Will also help — Alivia Lensing (jr OF), Kaylee Roche (so utility), Emma Pieper (fr utility), Olivia Wolters (fr P)
Coach says — “We have a great group of girls who are dedicated and will work hard. We are very excited and  looking forward to the season. We are hoping, with some experience, to go far as a team.”

Coach — Dave Bleyhl
Opener — April 11, home quad
Last year — conference and section champion
Returning starters — Mary Elmquist (sr), Samantha Lindeen (so) and Morgan Bleyhl (fr)
Will also help — Miranda Ray (jr),  Morgan Dietrichs (so), Alexa Filipiak (fr)
Coach says — “Rebuilding after graduating three valuable seniors will be difficult. My medalist, Sadie Martin, will be very hard to replace. The team will recover, but it may take longer.”


Coach — Dave Conley
Last year — 3rd in conference, 4th in section
Opener — April 18 at Coon Rapids Invitational
Returning lettermen— Cooper Bleyhl (sr),  Mitch Nelson (sr), Garrett Turnacliff (so), Jason Peterson (fr)
Coach says— “Won’t know lineup for a few weeks. … Turnacliff  has lowest scoring average (82.8) of returning players.”


Coach — Ryan Holmgren
Last year — 9-10, 10-12
Opener — April 10, Armstrong
Returning starters — Brady Givens (sr 2B, 3B, OF, P), Terry Hadden (sr P, OF), Porter Morrell (sr C, P), Tim Sanford (sr 1B), Sam Wirtz (sr 3B, P), Brandon Meyer (jr P, SS)
Other lettermen — Brandon O’Connor (sr OF), Matt Baker (sr OF), Nick Johnson (sr 2B, OF), Jordan Hollum (jr P, IF, OF)
Will also help — Joey Hudson (sr P), Alex Babcock (jr P), Joe Gonrowski (jr P, OF), Mylo Hommes (jr CF), Andrew McMillen (jr C, OF), Erik Nyquist (jr IF, P)
Coach says — “We have a lot of returning varsity experience. … We have a number of seniors who have served vital roles on other varsity teams. … We will have better team speed along with productive infield and outfield depth. … We have two reliable starting pitchers, but we need some new guys to step in. … I am also concerned about inflated expectations. We have a great group, but we need to make sure we stay committed to our process.”


Coach — Brian Gilbertson
Last year — 7th in conference, 3rd in section
Opener — April 9 at Andover
Seniors — Brennan Aasheim-Pepek (throws), Queety Badio (sprints, 3J), Trevor Brink (distance), Derek Cross (hurdles, 3J), Casmir Curney (throws), Devin Donelson (sprints), Bryan Edwards (hurdles, jumps), Riley Filipovich (sprints, HJ), Alek Georgeson (sprints), Logan Grace (hurdles, sprints), Nick Griffiths (throws), Connor Hanson (sprints, HJ), Austin Heston (throws), Jordan LeMier (throws), Jake Minervini-Blue (sprints, PV), Fanaka Ndege (sprints, jumps), Mitch Peterzen (hurdles, 3J), Ryan Trapp (distance), Nate Webster (distance), Odrey Bechtel (PV)
Other lettermen — Denis Bardashevski (sprints), Morris Dennis (sprints), Cameron Barringer (PV), Jacob Buhl (sprint, jumps), Zach Ernst (sprints), Breck Hickman (distance), Will Hoff (sprints, jumps), Andrew Larson (sprints), Abel Remi (sprints), Isaac Schwab (sprints), Christian Tobin (throws), Lucas Trapp (distance), Nate Wallestad (sprints, jumps), Mitch Weege (distance), Nick Labatt (throws)
Coach says —  “This is by far the best boys team on paper we have had in 10 years due to senior leadership, hard work and talent. …  A lot of 3- and 4-year seniors … There has been a lot of success in fall and winter sports this year. … Several rookies look to make us a stinger team … Goals are to compete for section true-team and regular section title.”



Coach — Steve Hamilton
Last year — won conference, section and true-team sections, each for 3rd straight year
Opener —April 9 at Andover tri
Letterwinners — Lindsey Lowe (sr hurdles, jumps), Jordyn Sohns (sr hurdles), Chelsea Petrich (sr 400, 800), Anna Haugen (sr 800, 1600), Brienna Dehkes (sr, hurdles), Rachel Ness (fr 800, 1600), Molli Detloff (so throws), Taylor Odegard (so 800, 1600), Samantha Hendricks (so 400, 800), Sophie Zabee (jr throws), Gabriella Jung (so 800), Kennedy Warner (8th, 800, 1600)
Coach says — “It’s been tough with the weather. Track’s not much fun in the halls. Everyone’s fighting for room, baseball, softball, lacrosse, everybody. … We should be pretty good. We’ve got 96 girls, although 45 to 50 are middle schoolers. … Looks like our fastest girls are in 7th and 8th. … Hard to tell a lot until we get outside.”
New coach— Hamilton, the Elk football coach who previously coached track in Michigan, takes over for Russ Gnan, who resigned after 18 years.



Coach — Thomas Haugen
Last year — 2-7, 4-8
Opener —April 22 at Maple Grove
Returning lettermen — Wyatt Hansen (sr mid), Kolin Heinen (sr mid), Jordan Johnson (sr ls mid), Jacob Brenteson (sr G), Zach Griffin (jr mid), Travis Hansen (jr def), Tanner Straus (jr def), Brad Yankowiak (jr mid), Alex Stull (jr attacker)


Coach — Stephanie Anderson
Last year — 6-3, 9-5
Opener — April 18 at STMA
Top returning scorers — Emily Antony (so, 59 goals), Makenzie Perna (sr, 42 goals)
No other information on players was provided, pending team tryouts to be completed this week.