Athlete of the week

by Bruce Strand, Sports Editor Every step Tanner Beckerleg takes on the soccer field sends throbs of pain through his afflicted hips, but somehow that doesn’t stop the Elk River senior defender from excelling. “Tanner holds down the back line for us. He’s the last rung of defense and he makes a big difference in [...]

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by Bruce Strand, Sports Editor The play that best describes Gunnar Bloom, his coach says, was a long run against Elk River in an afternoon playoff game last year where the tailback added sunlight to his long list of tools. “A defender had an angle on him and was going to catch him from behind,” [...]

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by Bruce Strand, Sports editor Erica Folk is one of those driven athletes who generates robust numbers in almost every column on the stat sheet every game. The Rogers senior volleyball captain likes hitting best, but delivers clutch plays all around the rotation. “Erica never comes off he floor,” said coach Joyelle Knoblach. “She is [...]

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by Bruce Strand, Sports editor Taylor Odegard made her first state swimming trip as a 95-pound eighth-grader and has gone back with relay teams every year since. That’s a pretty good career already, but this fall, the Elk River senior is closing with what could be her most exciting season. “We are doing really well,” [...]

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by Bruce Strand, Sports editor   Nolan Dwyer stays on the field for virtually the whole game for the unbeaten Elk River football team. One of four co-captains, he plays safety and tight end, long-snaps for place kicks, returns kickoffs, and blocks on punt returns. “Nolan does everything for us,” said coach Steve Hamilton. “He [...]

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by Bruce Strand, Sports editor Zach Ernst’s main job with Elk River football last year was throwing blocks downfield for his record-setting backfield teammate. And now that Ernst has moved into Denis Bardashevskiy’s fullback slot as the featured back, he quickly provided the same explosiveness as his predecessor. Ernst busted 26 yards against Coon Rapids [...]

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by Bruce Strand, Sports editor Brooke Salo is best described as an “energizer” on the soccer field, and not only because she’s Zimmerman’s all-time leader in goals. “Brooke has a super positive attitude. She picks everyone up,” said coach Jeff Downing. “She is an energizer for the team. She has played every position on the [...]

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by Bruce Strand, Sports editor Jessica Young was born to swim. The Rogers senior can’t remember a time she wasn’t churning through the water daily, starting at age six. Her mother, Lisa, who swam for Albert Lea, was giving lessons. Starting her fifth and final season with Elk River-Rogers-Zimmerman this week, Young has made all-conference [...]

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by Bruce Strand, Sports editor What you want from your starting pitcher is that he give his team a good chance to win the ball game, and Adam Nauth usually delivered that for the Rogers Royals in his two years on the hill. Nauth, much better than his 6-6 career record would indicate, made all-conference [...]

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