by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Lexi Yeado, who won 148 tennis matches for the only school in Minnesota with the nickname “Elks,” was recently named girls tennis assistant coach in Burleson, Texas. Guess what their nickname is.
“They called me and told me to stop interviewing,” said Yeado, who was hired as an English teacher, “because they liked my tennis background, and I went to their web site, and saw this outline of an Elk at the top of their web site! I said, ‘This can’t be real.’ But I took it as a sign.”
There’s more: Burleson, she found, wears red, black, and white, and has about 1,300 students, and was much bigger until recently splitting its district, all duplicating her home town.
“And their second school wears blue and black, like Rogers does! And it’s called ‘Centennial,’ which, of course, was our big rival in Elk River. I thought, I’m in the Twilight Zone here.”
At the conclusion of her second sit-down with Burleson, the school’s activities director asked, “Well, Lexi, are you ready to be an Elk?” Yeado grinned and replied, “Once an Elk, always an Elk.”
Yeado, 24, attended Dallas Baptist University and played four years of tennis. Her brother Joe followed her to DBU, played tennis and helped start a hockey program, and now has a job with Fidelity in Texas.
Yeado said she went through four and a half years of college without knowing what she wanted to so.
Also talented dancer (she captained the Elk River Dance Team that took third in the state in High-Kick) who did some modeling, she took a shot at show biz, landing a spot on a TV reality show about dancing, and at one point dropped out of school to move to Los Angeles. That didn’t work out so she returned to DBU and got a degree in business management.
Still searching for her niche, she worked for a year, then had a visit with a former DBU teammate who was teaching and coaching. Yeado realized that’s what she wanted, too.
“In high school, I always thought you had to be a big public figure to be a role model, but there’s different ways you can do that,” said Yeado.
If Yeado had any doubts, all those signs at Burleson helped put them to rest. She started her new job Monday.