ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Elk Mound junior Ethan Kjellberg

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ELK MOUND, Wis. (WEAU) -- With an 11-1 over Plum City last night, the Elk Mound baseball team clinched a share of Dunn-St. Croix Large Conference title. Junior hurler Ethan Kjellberg has been a large part of the Mounders success both on the mound and at the plate. Chance Dickman has the story in our Osseo Automotive Athlete of the Week.

Kjellberg. A last name so commonly mispronounced, has become a last name so commonly mentioned as one of the best in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference.

"People ask, 'Why is there a J'? I just say that's how the family has it," Kjellberg said."Coming into the Dunn-St. Croix, I was ready to go and wanted to be the guy that everyone looks at."

"I always have to repeat the spelling and pronunciation of his name," added Elk Mound head coach Paul Andrea. "You know, that's the part of the fun with it all and having him around."

Ethan is 6-2 on the bump this season, posting a 2.89 ERA while racking up 57 strikeouts and one no-hitter to boot.

"I have control of the game," Kjellberg explained. "It's hard to get into that zone sometimes, but I just get into that zone where I choose what I want to throw."

Ethan didn't see a ton of time on the mound during his sophomore season, but fast-forward a year, and he's made great strides in becoming the Elk Mound ace.

"I mean there's no doubt about it, he has great God-given ability, just the fact that he puts in the work in the offseason separates him," Andrea said.

"I actually printed out a sheet of the All-Conference list and highlighted my name in 'Honorable Mention' as a reminder every day when I woke up to work extra hard," Kjellberg added.

As a leader of the Mounders, Ethan isn't just looked at to deliver on the mound, but at the plate as well.

"He just has a great approach, great mentality," Andrea said. "He doesn't get too high or too low. He just really stays consistent."

"I mean, we only have like 20-some guys in our program so any way that I can help with being a two-way player," Kjellberg added. "It just helps with developing all your skills in baseball."

Elk Mound earned a 2-seed in the upcoming Division 3 playoffs. They'll play the winner between Spring Valley and Glenwood City next Tuesday at Village Park.

Reporting in Elk Mound, Chance Dickman for SportScene 13.

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