by Eric Oslund
Elk River’s Hunter Kivley set the school’s boys lacrosse record for most goals in a single game, on May 10, after he netted nine against Champlin Park.
It was a record that was previously held by Alex Stull, who scored seven in a game. Stull is now an assistant coach for the Elks, and while Kivley admitted he chirped at his coach a little bit once he found out he broke the record, he mostly wanted to thank him, and all his other coaches for everything they have done to help make him successful.
“(I) wouldn’t be succeeding without what him and the rest of the coaches have taught me,” Kivley said after his record-setting performance.
But there is one coach on the staff that always seems to go above and beyond, at least for Kively.
Last year, during the Elks’ game against Osseo/Park Center, Kivley asked his coach Justin Gagnon to hold his mouth guard for a second. Gagnon did, and then put it back into Kivley’s mouth once play resumed, and, sure enough, he scored on that next shift.
Gagnon then held Kivley’s mouth guard again during the next timeout, and put it back into his mouth once again when play resumed, and, oddly enough, he continued to score. He ended up tallying six goals that game, including the overtime game winner.
A tradition was born from that game, and now you can see Gagnon holding onto that mouth guard anytime there is a stoppage in play.
“I’d like to give a shoutout to one of the coaches, Justin Gagnon, who holds my mouth guard in between each quarter and during every timeout,” Kivley said. “It is a huge superstition of mine.”
He also made sure to thank all his teammates, recognizing that he wouldn’t have been able to make the plays he did without their help.
“My teammates made it easy for me to score with great feeds by everyone,” he began.
“We just fed off of each goal and worked from there. Very good team win an couldn’t have set the school record without each of them.”
Kivley first started playing lacrosse in sixth grade when the sport was first came to Elk River. Before that he was always a baseball guy in the spring time, but the physicality and high-tempo pace of lacrosse made it very appealing to him.
He has been playing at the varsity level since he was a sophomore, and now that he is a senior he cannot believe how quickly everything has gone by.
“Very fast, I remember coming into freshman year of lacrosse all scared and now I’m a senior helping the current freshman feel comfortable.” he said.