JV BASEBALL JV big in numbers and potential despite youth
Elk Rapids High School JV Baseball 2016-2017: front row: Jacob Lawes, Logan Russell, Zak Miracle, Kolton Drogowski, Ethan Pike, Remington Shively, Jordan Martin, Justin Jansen. back row: Coach Rob Bachi, David Huver, Zachary Conklin, Cole Helmreich, Toby Parrent, Kyle Hoff, Gavin Centala, Gunnar Keaton, Robert Fager, Lane Scheiern. Not pictured: Jeriko Swenson, Tyler Ketz. Photo by Diane Drogowski, bythebayphotography.com
Elk JV baseball head coach Rob Bachi begins his fourth season with enthusiasm, despite having a team lacking experience. The JV has 19 players on the team, but just three returnees, Jordan Martin, Remington Shively, and Ethan Pike.
“I am excited for this group of guys. We are very young, with several players that have not played in years, and some that have never played organized baseball. We have been doing a lot of back to basics while stuck in the gym, and have done very well with technique, but now we need to work on all of that at game speed on an actual field,” Bachi said. Jason Lawes joins the JV staff as an assistant coach this season. Players Martin, Gavin Centala, Tyler Ketz and Jacob Lawes will likely get a lot of starts pitching. In addition, Bachi has at least seven other players that can pitch. “More than half of the team will pitch on the mound for us this year. With the new pitch count rules and required rest time, having that many arms should be very advantageous.”
Ketz and Shively will share duties catching. Pike is settled at second base, and Gunner Keaton will play at first. Kolton Drogowski, Robert Fager, Jeriko Swenson, Logan Russell, Toby Parrent and Zachary Conklin will battle for spots in the outfield. The lineup will be a work in progress, especially until the team can get outside on the field. Last Tuesday, the JV (0-4) opened on the road, losing two at Petoskey. It was the first time the Elks had been outside on a field, due to weather and varsity games. The JV fell twice at home on Tuesday against TC West. Warmer weather on the way will get the JV outside practicing, which should turn into wins as the season progresses. Good luck to the JV Elks!
VARSITY SOCCER Lady Elks defeat Petoskey to put cap on a busy week
By Rick Martel, Sports Writer
The Lady Elks varsity soccer team has been busy this week, playing three games in a span of just six days and capping off the week with a big win Tuesday at Petoskey. “The girls wanted this game,” said Lady Elks Coach Andrea Krakow. This was a very fast paced, high intensity game and Krakow was obviously very pleased with the result. “I wasn’t sure what we would show up with,” said Krakow, referring to the fact that the Elks played a much slower paced game against Boyne the previous night.
But that was certainly not the case at Petoskey. Playing on a turf field that increases the speed of the game anyway, the Elks took it to the Lady Northmen to earn a hard fought win.
Nikki Hayes got the Elks on the Board early when with just under nine minutes played she finished on a breakaway when she gathered her own rebound off the Petoskey keeper and put her second shot into the net.
The score remained 1-0 until with about eight minutes played in the second half Natalie Graf lofted a cross from the right side to Clare Klein who volleyed a one-timer into the net to make it 2-0. From there the Elks did not let up as they continued to apply pressure for the remaining 32 minutes.
Defensively the Elks had another strong performance and when Petoskey did get a quality shot, Elks keeper Drew Antcliff was up to the task. Antcliff made four great saves on quality Petoskey shots. “Antcliff was definitely on her game this evening,” said Krakow.
“We played competitively and possessed the ball more this evening than I have seen in [previous] games,” said Krakow.
The Lady Elks will be off until Friday (4/21) when they head to Leland for a 5:00 p.m. game.
Last Thursday (4/13) the Elks dropped a tough 1-0 decision against Charlevoix. It was simply a matter of not being able to put the ball in the net, even after being awarded two penalty kicks during the course of the evening.
Charlevoix picked up the lone score in the second half. It is never easy to swallow when you lose a game in which you have more scoring opportunities than your opponent. But that was exactly what happened as the Elks outshot the Lady Rayders 6-3, in addition to misfiring on the two penalty kick opportunities.
“In my opinion we beat ourselves,” said Krakow. “We just didn’t get the job done this evening.”
Elk Rapids vs Boyne City The Lady Elks bounced back nicely on Monday (4/17) as they defeated Boyne City 8-0 in a game ended under the “mercy rule.” It was another cold night but despite the weather the Lady Elks were “ready to play” according to Coach Krakow.
The Elks got their first goal about 20 minutes into the first half when Nikki Hayes crossed a ball to Natalie Graf who was able to get around the defense before finding the back of the net. Eight minutes later Olivia Travis finished a Hannah Riffell deflection to make it 2-0. Clare Klein then sent a ball to Riffell who scored her first goal of the season to stake the Elks to a 3-0 lead going into halftime.
“It seemed like despite controlling the game, we were moving at a very slow pace and playing with low intensity,” said Krakow. “I encouraged the girls to pick it up in the second half.” The Elks responded just three minutes into the second half when Klein scored on an assist from Graf. Heather Brothers got her first of two goals when she finished on a deflection coming off a direct kick by Graf. Olivia Travis then sent in a beautiful corner kick that Alysse Matteson finished nicely.
Graf then picked up her third assist of the night when she crossed the ball to Jenna Wilkinson who was able to finish. Brothers ended the scoring and the game with her second goal as she intercepted a punt from the Rambler keeper.
“Tonight was good for the girls to gain confidence after losing to Charlevoix last week,” said Krakow. It also gave the Elks a chance to have everyone get some playing time as the starters rested for Tuesday’s game at Petoskey.
VARSITY TENNIS Tennis falling short but playing well
The Lady Elks are playing good tennis, but not yet coming up with wins. The team has struggled with players missing meets due to the flu, injuries, and the school musical, preventing Elk tennis coach Dave Parks from having his complete line-up. Opening the season at Lake Michigan conference rival Charlevoix last Wednesday, the Elks played to a 4-4 tie, having to forfeit number singles. Winning in singles were number one seed Allison Ashurst (0-6, 7-5, 6-1) and number three Sonya Huron (6-3, 6-1). Doubles wins came from first seed Anna Donahue and Jade Boyce (6-3, 6-4) and number four Emily Huhta and Jasmine Scroggins (6-4, 6-4). Hosting TC West varsity last Thursday, the Elks fell 7-1, with Huron at number three singles getting the lone win (7-5, 6-1). “This was very good for us, TC was great at every level,” Parks said. “Our girls played harder than they thought they could. We grew quite a bit today.”
The team faced Charlevoix on Monday, but the Elks stumbled, losing 6-2.Huron remained undefeated at number three singles (6-2, 6-1). Ashurst, number one singles, and Maddie Hatch, number two singles, both lost in tough three set battles. In doubles, number two seed Kierstin Terhune and Shelby Ray earned the lone Elk win (6-3, 6-0).
“We had some hard fought battles, and it was really cold. We were still missing people, but close to full strength,” Parks said.
The Elks host LMC foe East Jordan on Thursday, play in the Northwoods Invite at TC Central on Saturday, and then travel to Harbor Springs on Tuesday in a conference meet.
JV SOCCER Lady Elks JVs ready to begin new season
Elk Rapids High School JV Soccer 2016-2017: front row: Rachel Peterson, Catrina Fager, Alea Wilkins, Gabby Burfiend, Bella Brookshire, Shelby Scott, Cassidy Reffitt, Cameron Reffitt. back row: Erin King, Madison Hall, Autumn Allen, Natalee Hill, Coach Danny Rodts, Alysse Matteson, Sarah Campbell, Lilia Brookshire, Olivia Hoch. Photo by Diane Drogowski, bythebayphotography.com
By Rick Martel, Sports Writer
The Lady Elks JV soccer team has begun their 2017 season. The Elks will be coached again this year by Danny Rodts, who returns for his second season.
The team consists of 18 players evenly divided between freshman, sophomores and juniors. The juniors, who include Cameron Reffitt, Alysse Matteson, Natalee Hill, and Autumn Allen, along with sophomores Amanda Trierweiler and Autumn Mandeville, will rotate back and forth between the varsity and junior varsity teams as needs dictate and the schedule permits.
The JV team will play a 12 game schedule against mostly larger schools, including TC West, TC Central, Petoskey, Gaylord and Cadillac. Only two schools in the LMC – Harbor Springs and Charlevoix – have JV teams and the Elks will play the traditional home and home series with each.
The JVs are showing early signs that they will be competitive this year. Last week they defeated Charlevoix 2-0 on goals by Cassidy Reffitt and Bella Brookshire. Earlier in the week the JV team dropped a closely contested 0-1 decision to Gaylord. They are scheduled to play Petoskey on Tuesday (4/25) before hosting Harbor Springs next Thursday (4/27) beginning at 5:00 p.m.
VARSITY BASEBALL ELKS anxious to begin conference play
The Elks suffered their first loss of the season, dropping game one 6-1 to visiting Petoskey last Wednesday, in a double header postponed from Tuesday due to rain. The Elks also suffered their first tie game of the season, as darkness ended game two early, with the teams tied 3-3. Keegan Cunningham got the nod in game one, fanning five Northmen in five and two-thirds innings of work. Cunningham was taken out due to a high pitch count, as per the new rules for this season. With the game tied 1-1, Petoskey took advantage of an Elk error, and rapped out five hits, leading to five runs and the Elk’s first loss.
In game two, Skyler Campbell knocked in two RBIs with a single, giving the Elks a 2-0 lead. Petoskey countered with two in the third. Cunningham smacked a RBI double, giving the Elks back the lead, Petoskey again scored to tie. The umpires decided it was too dark to continue, ending the non-conference game in a 3-3 tie.
The Elks headed to Suttons Bay last Thursday, earning a sweep over the Norsemen 8-4 and 11-5.
Alex Cullimore and Devin Sempert pitched the opener, combing for seven strikeouts. Troy Swanson went the distance in game two, whiffing seven.“The team is starting to fall into place, strikeouts are low, and we are putting the ball into play, and getting on base,” Elks varsity coach Kevin Sempert said.
The Saturday Frankfort Invite was canceled due to rain. The Elks (6-1-1) travel to Harbor Springs Thursday (4/27) for their Lake Michigan Conference opener. The Elks will host St. Francis on Monday (5/1).
VARSITY TRACK Elks improving on the track
Running in Kalkaska on Monday at the first Lake Michigan quad meet of the season, the Elks found some challenging competition against St. Francis, Grayling and the host Blazers.
“We thought our meet went well yesterday. We had many athletes that improved from their times, heights, and distances from last week. We also ran some kids in events for the first time and they did very well! Overall it was a very helpful meet for us to continue to learn and improve as a young team,” said Elk track co-coach Luke Johnson.
The girls team had just two members participating, and both earned points. Emma McGuire finished second in the 100M (14.96) and fifth in the 200M (31.37). Juni Parrish earned a fourth place finish in the shotput (24-08.50). The duo tallied seven points on the day.
The boys totaled 37 to place third overall. Point earners were Alex Villegas (3-12.50) and Issac Moothart (5-12.60) in the 100M, Moothart in the 200M (2-24.68), Logan Henderson (3-48.06) and Eli Szumera (5-49.45) for the 300M hurdles, Dylan Gilbert (4-2:22.04) and Parker Lawrence (5-2:23.83) for the 800M. In the relay events, the 4X400 team of Tom Morrison, Gilbert, Mac Bickersteth and Lawrence finished third (4:01.62), the quartet of Villegas, Moothart, Henderson and Szumera placed second in the 4X200 (1.42.43), and the 4X100M (47.92). In the field events Szumera took fourth in the high jump (5-06.00), and the Elks dominated the pole vault with Henderson taking first (10-00), Bickersteth finishing third (9-06) and Tim Stoldt leaping to a tie for fourth place (9.00).
The Elks opened the season last Wednesday in competition at the East Jordan Jamboree. A breakdown in the timing system shortly after the start of the meet caused the results to be unavailable. “We have contacted the company and are waiting for tech support to call back. We are hoping we will be able to retrieve the results,” explained East Jordan athletic director Phyllis Olszewski. “We never got any results from East Jordan,” Johnson said, “We chalked that one up as a scrimmage.” The Elks will be back on the track next Friday (4-21) at the Harbor Springs Ram Scram.
VARSITY SOFTBALL Lady Elks gain split with Suttons Bay
By Rick Martel, Sports Writer
The Lady Elks split a doubleheader with Suttons Bay last Thursday (4/13), winning the first game 9-6 then losing the second 5-16.
In game one, the Elks were led at the plate by Melisa Akin, who had three singles and an RBI. Kelsey Anderson and Rebecca Marolf each had a couple of singles and an RBI while Addie Lark stroked a double and a triple, knocking in one run. Brittany Kass also had an RBI single and Hannah Stites picked up a couple of singles.
The Elks did most of their damage in the first inning when they scored seven runs with the help of three walks and 2 hit batters by Suttons Bay pitching. “We did not hit all that great but we did okay in the field,” said Lady Elks Coach Erin Merchant. Marolf was on the mound in game one and had eight strikeouts.
In the second game things fell apart for the Elks. “We just sort of had a mental breakdown in the second game,” quipped Merchant. “We forgot how to field and made way too many errors. Our hitters were just not getting around on the ball.”
Akin and Anderson again led the way at the plate with Akin picking up an RBI on three singles while Anderson had two singles with an RBI. Kass and Lark also each had an RBI in game two. Milah Loose was on the mound for the Elks, going the distance and picking up two strikeouts. The Lady Elks hit the road starting Wednesday (4/19) playing at Glen Lake and then at Harbor Springs on 4/20.
BASEBALL Sempert trades Elk for Pioneer on diamond
Devin Sempert shakes hands with Delta College Coach, Danny Smith, while his parents, Dina Zurawski and Kevin Sempert look on. Photo by KLW
Devin Sempert signed a letter of intent Thursday to play baseball for the Delta College Pioneers, located near Saginaw. Sempert, a four-year varsity starter in baseball, chose a junior college to continue to develop his playing skills.
“This will give me the best opportunity to better myself as a baseball player, and transfer to a bigger four-year university,” explained Sempert. “I plan to reach for high goals and go somewhere big, preferably somewhere like Florida, or California, where I can play year-round and always be by beaches and warm weather!”
Sempert hopes to play his favorite position of third base. “I was thrilled about competing for solid playing time right away, especially at third.”
A multi-sport athlete, Sempert earned All-Conference honors in football and basketball for the Elks, and was recruited for football. Congratulations Devin, good luck as a Pioneer, and beyond!
Elk Rapids News 212 River Street P.O. Box 176 Elk Rapids, Michigan 49629 231-264-6670 Phone 231-264-6685 Fax