Elk Mound (WQOW) -- Elk Mound figures to be one of the teams to beat this season in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference.
The Mounders have twelve seniors on the roster, seven of which were regulars last year, when Elk Mound advanced to the regional final and lost to eventual WIAA Division 3 state champion Prescott.
"On paper you would have to say that overall this is one of the most talented groups that we've had in our recent success over the past three to four years," says Mounders head coach Paul Andrea, "we're going to really rely on our bats, we stay in games with pitching and defense but we have to be able to score runs on a consistent basis."
"Our ultimate goal right now is to get a conference championship," says Elk Mound senior pitcher Garrett Phillips, "and it's really showing right now, our team is working real hard. I mean doing as much as we can in the gym, Coach is keeping us motivated and we are just doing what it takes right now."
Elk mound is scheduled to play at Pepin/Alma, Monday. The Mounders were supposed to open their season Monday, at Bloomer, but there's still too much snow on the ground. Friday's game at Elk Mound against Cumberland has also been called off.
So, the Mounders are doing what they've been doing ever since practice got underway, which is maximize their time indoors. Elk Mound is a senior-dominated team this season, so leadership shouldn't be a question.
"Being indoors, obviously, is not ideal," says Andrea, "this has been the toughest spring that I can remember in a lot of years right now, but the kids really come with a positive attitude and continue to work hard even though we're confined in here We're making the best of our reps that the kids get and we're working on fundamentals right now."
Elk Mound players say they have high expectations for the upcoming season.
"Very capable," says Mounders senior catcher Nick Heit, "but we're going to have that target so everyone's going to play their best game against us, so we're going to have to be ready to go every night."
"We have high expectations," Phillips says, "I mean, our expectations are exactly what every other team in the area wants, to get our hands on a conference championship, and with the kids we have out here, I mean, I think we've got a good shot."
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