Elk River winter sports previews

Elk River wrestling

Coaches — Paul Nelson (head), Brian Klum, Brett Svendsen, Mike Dahlheimer, Casey Wells
Last year — 5-5 conference, 9-9 overall
Captains — Andrew Perry, Ryan Osberg, A.J. Hannan
Returning starters — Osberg (sr),  Perry (sr), Robert Schmitz (jr), Cole Moening (jr), Garrett Caldon (so), Kyle Ziemer (so), Ben Gibas (so)
Also in the mix — Hannan (sr), Dan Deacon (sr), John Reitter (sr), Alex Schmitz (sr), Stephen McGuire (so), Sam Gibas (fr), Anthony Meister (fr), Brian Hansen (fr), Nick Arnhalt (fr), Casey Schilz (fr)
Worth noting — Caldon (30-6) and Ziemer (23-9) were all-conference
Coach says — “We should be better than last year. We will have more balance in our lineup. Caldon will be our best wrestler.”
Outlook — Elks should be able to fill out their lineup and push upward from last year’s .500 finish. But as usual their conference and section are formidable.

Elk River girls basketball

Coaches — Reed Caouette (head), Brian Steuter, Jeremy Digiovanni
Last year — 10-10 conference, 16-13 overall
Captains — Molli Detloff, Jessica Langbehn
Returning starters — Shelby Gracik (sr G),  Anna Rollag (jr G),  Detloff (sr F), Abi Scheid (so C), Langbehn (sr F)
Other letter winners back — Erin Ness (sr G), Jayme Langbehn (so F)
Also in the mix — Alysse Grunewald (so P), Sidney Wentland (fr F), Gabbi Haack (fr G)
Worth noting — Gracik (14.5 ppg) and Scheid (13.5 ppg, 12.4 rpg) were all-conference
Coach says — “We have people who can put the ball in the basket from the perimeter and inside. We’ll be working the ball inside to Abi. We’re going to have to take care of the ball better than last year; we can’t have mid-to-high-20’s in turnovers every game. We’ll be doing the same things but we have to do them better.”
Outlook — Elks have plenty of talent, with almost everyone back from a section runner-up team. They should be able to move up in the conference and challenge for the section title again.

Elk River-Zimmerman boys hockey

Coaches — Gordie Roberts (head), Bruce Johnson, Justin Micek, Ben Gustafson
Last year — 12-4 conference, 16-11 overall
Captains — MacLean Berglove, Chase Springman; assistant captains Jake Jaremko, Andrew Zerban
Returning starters — Chase Springman (sr F), Maclean Berglove (sr G), Andrew Zerban (sr F), Jack Geissler (sr D), Colton Budreau (sr F), Jake Jaremko (jr F)
Also in the mix — Kyle Badger (sr W), Grant Bunker (sr W), Briggs Leadens (sr W), Joe Gonrowoski (sr D), Ben Johnson (jr C,W), Peter Jones (jr C), Reggie Lutz (jr W), Matt Kjerstad (so D), Dylan Bouten (so D), Joey Grillo (jr C),  James Grillo (jr C), Noah Halbeck (jr C)
Worth noting — Jaremko (16 goals, 16 assists) and Springman (18-10)  were all-conference; Zerban had 13 goals … Springman, Berglove, and Jaremko played in Elite League this fall. Johnson, Lutz, Halbeck and Bouten played in Elite 2 (for juniors). Zerban played in a Midget AAA team.
Coach says — “We’ve got a lot of seniors, and we had a lot of guys playing this fall. We are excited about our team. It’s a good group that’s working really hard. We had a first-year coach last year, so this year we should be all on the same page and everybody understanding what we are trying to do.”
Outlook — Elks are ranked No. 8 in the metro are by the Star-Tribune and should be a force on the ice this year.

Elk River-Rogers-Zimmerman gymnastics

Coaches — Jackie Deiley (head), Jenny Vargas, Nico Velazquez
Last year — 8-0 conference, 9-0 overall
Captains — Katie Fleck, Corryn Stelflug
Returning varsity — Krista Kovar (so), Morgan Wallmow (fr), Ashley Stewart (jr), Molly McChesney (so), Lexi Stepan (jr)
New team members — Allissa George (fr), Caitlyn Reeves (so), Bailey Maly (fr), Sydney Lofgren (8th), Madison Smith (7th)
Worth noting — Kovar is lone returning all-conference
Coach says — “We have another talented group of girls! Looks like we’ll have another solid team. We’ve got 21 gymnasts. The girls have been working hard at practice, and we’re excited to have some gymnasts start competing some of their new elements. Kovar is hoping to debut her yerchancho on vault at our season opener Dec. 5. Fleck, George, Stewart, and Reeves are cleaning up their tsuks on vault, and hoping to have them ready for competition.”
Outook — ERZ has won 42 straight dual meets and five consecutive conference crowns. They have graduated heavily the last two years and will need new talent to keep that going. Coach says goals are keeping everyone healthy, keep making progress and get every girl on the roster to complete.