Elks lost a budding tennis star to her California roots

Elk River girls tennis lost a player who would have been a big part of their plans the next four years when Alyssa Karavitch’s family moved to California just after school ended.

Karavitch posted a 22-4 record at No. 3 singles as an eighth-grader last fall. A late starter in tennis, she played close to 100 matches in the year leading up to the Elk season, improving vastly over seventh grade when she got in a few varsity matches.

bruce_sidelinesKaravitch’s mom is a native Californian who married a Minnesotan. Word is that our long, harsh winter of 2012-13 made them yearn for the Golden State. So Karavitch will join the Murrietta, CA, team.

The Elks have reached “state” six straight years and won conference three of those years. They’ve enjoyed a long stretch of having an outstanding No. 1 atop the lineup in Katie Jesperson and then Michaela Schulz. But new leaders must emerge now.

Yellowing RBI record falls

Elk senior outfielder Nick Johnson drove home 26 runs in 20 games this spring, breaking a team record that stood since 1978 when Curt Rieck had 25 RBI, reports coach Ryan Holmgren. He added that catcher/pitcher Porter Morrell made no errors in 140 fielding chances, his 1.000 percentage matching a team record held by Randy Milless in 139 chances in 1974.

Apparently, a long line of Elk baseball coaches have done a pretty good job keeping records for such data  from almost 40 years ago to be available.

Meanwhile, Elk boys track re-set three of its four relay records and one of those, the 4×200, was 30 years old, reports coach Brian Gilbertson.

Wrapups on all spring teams, including stats, honors and broken records, will appear in the June 29 Star News.

Good summer help

Rachel Finkbeiner, heading into her senior year as a volleyball player and campus newspaper sports editor at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, is helping out the Star News this summer with feature articles.

We did a feature on Finkbeiner in March after she and three campus TV guys followed the LaSalle men’s basketball team to Kansas City and Los Angeles when the Explorers won three games in the NCAA tournament.

The foursome (who raised $8,000 on the gofundme.com web site) became a story themselves with local TV and newspaper attention in Philadelphia plus the New York Times sports blog — which then invited Finkbeiner to do a guest column on her team.

We at the Star News figure it doesn’t hurt for a writer to get some practical experience with the New York Times before we give them a shot.