Mackenna Blakeslee at the plate with a hit.
Photo by Kim Eardley Photography
The one thing better than a win is a doubleheader sweep. The Lady Elks earned their first sweep of the season over conference rival Harbor Springs on the road Monday, winning game one 4-2 and taking the nightcap 10-4.
Rebecca Marolf struck out seven pitching the opener. Brittany Kass and Melissa Akins each had an RBI single in the first inning, giving the Elks a 2-0 lead. Sarah Zamaites singled in the second and scored on a double by Kass increasing the Elk lead to 3-0. Akins singled and scored in the fifth, giving the Elks a 4-0 lead, which held as the Rams batted in the bottom of the sixth. A hit batsman and an error put two Rams on base, both scoring on an Elk error, cutting the lead to 4-2 with one out. The Elks stiffened defensively, a pop fly for out number two followed by a Ram strikeout gave the win to the Elks. Abby Platt, Hailey Bush, Brianna Pemberton, Cassidy Sincic and Marolf all singled, Zamaites belted a stand-up triple in the game. In the nightcap, Zamaites got the start, with Marolf taking over in the second due to a bloody nose for Zamaites. The Rams took an early 3-2 lead after the first inning but were shut down by Marolf tallying eight strikeouts. The Elks scored once in the second, three times in the third, one in the fourth and finished with three more in the sixth inning for the win and sweep.
Pemberton was 2-3 at the plate with a two RBI double, Sincic had an RBI single and scored, Marolf had an RBI single, walked three times and scored two runs.
On Saturday, the Elks hosted an invitational tournament with Bellaire, Mancelona and Central Lake in attendance. The Elks opened the tournament against Bellaire, squandering a 5-0 lead to lose 6-5. Marolf drilled a first inning double and scored on a sacrifice RBI by Pemberton; Zamaites and Kass both singled and scored for a 3-0 Elk first inning lead. Platt and Bush scored in the second inning, increasing the Elk lead to 5-0. Bellaire scored an unearned run in the third and added two more runs in the third to cut the Elk lead to 5-3. A pair of Elk errors in the fourth allowed Bellaire three more runs and the win. Marolf pitched for the Elks, fanning eight.
The Elks and Central Lake played for third place, but a downpour cut short the game after two innings with the Elks holding a 5-0 lead. The umpires called the game over in order to get the championship game played, effectively giving the Elks third place in the tournament. Mancelona defeated Bellaire 10-2 to take home the tournament trophy.
The Lady Elks were scheduled to play a single seven inning game against Central Lake at home on Wednesday, then close out the regular season hosting Alpena on Tuesday (5/28).
VARSITY GIRLS SOCCER Lady Elks defeat Grayling on “senior night”
Seniors were honored Monday night during Seniors Night against Grayling: Bryanna King, Kendall Brown, Drew Antcliff, Maran Huggins, Olivia Travis, Kyla Pryde, Amanda Trierweiler, Abigail Riffell. Photos by Kim Eardley Photography
By Rick Martel, Sports Writer
The Elk Rapids varsity soccer team closed out the regular season on Monday with a 7-0 win against Grayling. It was senior night for eight Elk Rapids players, and they all started the game.
Senior Olivia Travis who has missed most of the season while recovering from an opening game injury scored the first of two goals with just eight minutes played on an assist from Gabby Krakow. Caitlyn Morley who also had two goals got her first 18 minutes later when she finished a cross from Travis to stake the Elks to a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
The Elks controlled much of the possession in the first half, but a couple of defensive miscues resulted in two scoring opportunities for Grayling. “Our defense was not as organized as I would have liked,” said Elks Coach Andrea Krakow
In the second half, the Elks came out firing. Morley got her second goal ten minutes in followed by a goal by freshman Mary Gregorski four minutes later. Other second half goals came off the foot of Jenna Wilkinson assisted by Bryanna King and Maran Huggins assisted by Amanda Trierweiler. Travis closed out the scoring with her second goal after receiving a pass from Gabby Krakow.
Senior keeper Drew Antcliff had one save while picking up another shutout win – her 12th of the season.
“The girls beat their opponent to the ball tonight although we definitely need to work on first touch as we prepare for district play,” said Krakow. The Elks will meet Glen Lake Wednesday (5/22) in the first round of district play. Results will be reported in next week’s edition of the Elk Rapids News.
Boyne City Morel Cup The Lady Elks played in the Morel Cup last Saturday in a tournament that featured a field of eight teams including a couple of Class A schools from southeast Michigan. The strong field gave the participating teams a preview of the level of competition to expect in the upcoming state tournament.
Games consisted of two 30-minute halves with games tied at the end of regulation decided by shoot out.
In the first round, the Elks defeated Big Rapids 1-0 in a game decided by shoot out. After playing to a scoreless tie after 60 minutes, the Elks converted on two of their first four penalty kicks while Big Rapids failed to score. Jenna Wilkinson and Gabby Krakow converted on the penalty kicks.
The Elks outshot Big Rapids by a substantial margin but just could not find the back of the net in regulation. “Big Rapids was quick, but our defense kept up and denied any real scoring opportunities,” said Krakow.
Next up was Lake Orion who defeated the Elks by a final score of 2-0. Lake Orion’s first goal was scored on a corner kick that deflected in off an Elk player. The other goal came in the second half on a great shot that caught the far post.
“Lake Orion is a very sound technical and disciplined team,” said Krakow.
In the final game against Gaylord, both coaches agreed to cut back the game to two 20-minute halves. This was done to try to avoid any injuries on the wet field with districts coming up the following week.
After playing a scoreless first half, Gaylord was able to get shot to go after bouncing off the top crossbar. “Overall, I was proud of the girls for playing three games [against larger schools],” added Krakow.
Elk Rapids vs Harbor Springs In a game (5/16) that would decide second and third place in the LMC conference, the Elks who needed a win over Harbor Springs to finish in second place, played to a hard fought 2-2 draw.
The Elks took the field playing with intensity and determination, taking an early lead just eight minutes in when Jenna Wilkinson scored the first of two goals on an assist from Mary Gregorski.
The Elks held on to the one goal lead until halfway through the second half when Harbor scored after the Elks defense failed to clear the ball out of the box. Four minutes later the Elks were back on top when Kendall Brown sent a long ball that Wilkinson caught up to, finding the far post to give the Elks a 2-1 lead with 16 minutes remaining.
The Elks continued to battle tough but in the closing minutes they were called for tripping in the box. Keeper Antcliff dove for the penalty kick and actually got her foot on the ball but could not keep it out of the net. Antcliff finished the night with one save.
“Despite the 2-2 tie, I was proud of the girls as they played hard and created more goal scoring opportunities than they have all season,” said Krakow.
The Elks finish the regular season with a record of 12-7-1 (8-3-1 LMC).
VARSITY TRACK Elks send five to state finals
The Elk track team left their mark on the Division 3 Regionals, held in Charlevoix last Friday, with five athletes advancing to the state finals. Riley Williams was the only member of the boys team to qualify, finishing first in the 100m dash with a personal record of 11.35.
Advancing from the girls team were Sierra Molby with a second-place finish in the 100m dash (13.37 PR) and Nevada Molby finishing first in both the 100m (13.09 PR) and the 200m (13.09 PR). The 4 x100 relay team of Sierra Molby, Nevada Molby, Heidi Kay, and Kate Henderson will also run at the state finals after finishing in first place (53.84) at regionals.
Overall the girls finished tied for fifth place with Charlevoix with 47 points. The boys were in eighth place with 33 total points. There were 14 teams competing at the regional meet.
There were several Elks with standout performances at regionals. Caleb Melton, a freshman, finished third in the shot put throwing a personal record of 42’ 10”. Carter Kornsey (fourth place-personal record) and Logan Henderson (third place-season record ) both cleared 10’ 3” in the pole vault. Sierra Molby narrowly missed qualifying for the long jump, finishing third with a leap of 15 feet.
The team was without the services of senior speedster Alex Villegas, who tweaked a hamstring in practice.
“Alex was just not able to get to a hundred percent,” said Elk co-track coach Luke Johnson, “It was really unfortunate because he›s worked so hard for this and is so deserving.” Villegas said he will be back for the Lake Michigan Conference championships.
The LMC championship meet was held Wednesday (5/22) in Charlevoix. The Division 3 State Finals will be held at Jenison High School, roughly 10 miles west of Grand Rapids, on Saturday, June 1.
VARSITY BASEBALL Elks lost two at Harbor, win at St. Mary
Rightfielder Remington Shively makes the catch for an out. Photo by Kim Eardley Photography
The Elks came out on the wrong end of a perfect game, losing to Harbor Springs 10-0 in the opener of a Lake Michigan Conference road doubleheader on Monday. The Elks scored first in the nightcap but would eventually fall 15-2.
The games were played at Northern Michigan Christian Academy, located about six miles east of Alanson, due to a season long remodel of the Ram’s home field. The Elks sent 15 batters to the plate in the opener, and none would reach base as the Rams recorded a perfect game win. The Elks struck out 12 times in the loss. Gavin Centala pitched four innings for the Elks, allowing 10 hits with three strikeouts. Hayden Thomas pitched in relief.
The Elks started off strong in the nightcap. Gunnar Keaton rapped out a single and came home on Kyle VanCompernolle’s RBI double. Tristan Beebe tripled into the gap scoring VanCompernolle and giving the Elks a 2-0 early lead. The Rams took over the lead with three runs in the bottom of the first and didn’t look back as the Elks would not score again. Zak Miracle started on the mound, pitching two innings; Cole Helmreich and Tyler Ketz both pitched in relief.
Playing on the road in a non-conference doubleheader at Leelanau St. Mary on Saturday, the Elks won game one 11-0, but fell in the nightcap 2-0. Ketz pitched the opener, striking out six and giving up just three hits. The Elks scored three times in the first, added six runs in the fourth and tallied two more in the fifth. Josh Vandeveer led the team with three hits, including a double, three RBIs and scored two runs. Justin Jansen singled and belted a two RBI double, Ketz also had a double. The Elks put men on base, but failed to score in game two, which has been a problem all season. Lane Scheiern started on the mound, pitching five innings with Centala coming in for relief. VanCompernolle and Keaton both singled in the game.
The Elks were scheduled to host Manistee Catholic on Wednesday, then Alpena comes to Elk Rapids on Tuesday (5/28) to close out the regular season.
JV Equestrian Ready to compete in Districts
The Elk Rapids junior varsity equestrian team is getting ready to compete in district 18 and 20. The team is comprised of 5th through 8th grade from Lakeland and Cherryland Middle School. The team has four riders, Katie Gorno, Ezra Hubbard, Jason Jansen, and Lilli Kuhn; and two grooms, Cali Charbeneau and Beckah Witt, competing as a C team. The team has been practicing patterns and working their horses in preparation for the meet. We will be competing on Saturday, June 8 at the Otsego County Fairgrounds in Gaylord beginning at 8:30 a.m. Even though school will be out, we invite you to come watch our Junior equestrian team attempt to bring home another trophy for Elk Rapids Schools! Text submitted by Head Coach, Sandy Jansen.
VARSITY GOLF Elk golfers win third straight conference meet
The quest to repeat as Lake Michigan Conference champions became closer for the Elk golf team as they shot their way to a first-place finish in the third LMC meet, played on the Sundance Course at A-Ga-Ming last Wednesday. Preston Ball (79), Jack Hawkins (80), Gage Vowels (82) and Joshua Lavely (83) combined for a 324, taking first place 13 strokes ahead of second place Boyne City. Mitchell Emke (94) and Jacob Lawes (95) rounded out the Elk golf scoring at the meet. The Elks have finished first in all three LMC matches this season.
“We played well posting our best 18-hole team score of 324,” said Elk varsity golf coach Larry Lavely. “I thought our team was on a mission to post a great team score on our home course. Even though we played in high winds all day, we had two players in Preston Ball and Gage Vowels post their best scores of the season.”
The Elks competed in the Traverse City Central Invitational on Monday, held at the Traverse City Country Club. Joshua Lavely (75), finishing third overall in the tournament, combined with Hawkins (82), Ball (87) and Lawes (95) for a 339 team score and a sixth-place finish. Emke (96) and Vowels (98) also shot for the Elks. Gaylord finished in first place with a 321.
There were 21 teams at the invitational, including several division one squads. “It’s unreal some of the playing conditions these boys are playing in. It’s really tough to get into a good rhythm when it’s 35 degrees and raining. I thought the boys hung tough and gutted it out. Overall, I was happy finishing sixth against a really tough field,” Lavely said.
Next up for the Elks was the Lake Michigan Conference championships, held Wednesday (5/22) at Antrim Dells.
VARSITY TENNIS Tennis team finishes fifth at regionals: Coach retires
Elk tennis coach Dave Parks gives the team a final pep talk at the last practice of the season. Photo by Kim Eardley Photography
The Elks finished out the season with some solid play at the Division 4 tennis regionals held at Traverse City last Friday, coming in fifth place overall out of nine teams competing. The finish is especially impressive considering the Elks automatically forfeit two matches due to a lack of players.
“I was very pleased with our fifth-place finish at regionals, since we have an inexperienced team and have been short-staffed all season. I am especially pleased with our second doubles team of Emily Huhta and Tess Meyer who defeated two seeded teams to get to the finals! Outstanding,” said Elk tennis coach Dave Parks.
In singles competition, number one seed Alea Wilkins defeated Grayling (6-1, 6-2), in the opening round, then fell to Big Rapids in the second round (6-0, 6-0).
Second seeded Ella Croftchik, downed Manistee (6-1, 6-4) in her opener, and lost to St. Francis (6-0, 6-0) in the next round. Third seed Caroline Ducharme won her opening round over Manistee (7-5, 6-1), then lost to St. Francis (6-0, 6-0) in the second round.
In doubles play, the Elk number one seeded team of Kiersten Terhune and Shelby Ray battled Charlevoix to get a first-round win (6-4, 3-6, 7-5), then fell to Harbor Springs (6-0, 6-0).
The second seeded duo of Emily Huhta and Tess Meyer downed Boyne City (6-1, 6-4) in the opening round, then prevailed over Charlevoix (6-4, 6-3) in a second round fight before losing to St. Francis (6-0, 6-0) in the finals round.
“With unfortunate weather conditions, we had only five meets this season and won two of them,” said Parks. “I feel confident that we will have more success next year as well as more players. Junior Alea Wilkins was very solid at #1 singles and freshman Ella Croftchik was outstanding at #2 singles. Madison Muoio (junior, #3 doubles), Caroline Ducharme (freshman, #3 singles) and Jill Acker (freshman, #4 singles) also had good success. They will be key players next season as well.”
The regional meet on Friday marked the end of a 17-year coaching career for Parks, who is retiring from both coaching and as a math teacher at Elk Rapids.
“I coached boys tennis for 11 years, took a break, then coached girls tennis for the past six seasons. I have been a math teacher at Elk Rapids High School for 26 years,” Parks said.
“I have really enjoyed being a coach as I was teaching. Interacting with kids beyond the classroom gives me an appreciation for their situation and their complex social world. I am humbled to have had the privilege of being a part of their lives.”
Parks plans on spending more time with his family and will welcome a first grandchild due in August. Congratulations to the Elk tennis team on a great season, with a positive eye to the future. Thanks to Coach Dave Parks for many years of a job well done, both on the court and in the classroom!
Elk Rapids News 212 River Street P.O. Box 176 Elk Rapids, Michigan 49629 231-264-6670 Phone 231-264-6685 Fax