Glenbrook North's Nate Elfant does his still rings routine against Highland Park last year. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Nate Elfant isn’t a doctor, but he’d like to play one on TV someday.
For now, Elfant is a senior gymnast at Glenbrook North who will try help the Spartans improve on last year’s sixth place finish in the state.
After years of demanding club competition, Elfant gave up on gymnastics after sixth grade. He played baseball freshman year before returning to gymnastics his sophomore year.
“It’s sad when you lose sight of something and all the fun is taken out of it,” he said. “I was burned out after doing years of club and didn’t like it anymore. I really enjoyed my sophomore year though and high school gymnastics are so much more relaxed.”
The Spartans should have a successful season with Elfant and sophomore Corey Snyder giving the team a dynamite 1-2 punch in the all-around. Seniors Mitch Lambert, Kevin Shahnazi, Sam Selyutin and junior newcomer Philip Morreale will look to contribute the team’s third score.
“We only graduated one guy from last year so we’re hopeful of getting this team to state again,” Glenbrook North coach Ryan Dul said. “And Nate’s loving this. He finds it fun and when he’s having fun he does very well.”
Elfant would like to see his team win the Central Suburban League again before making another trip to the state finals. He’s also ready to contribute more.
“I didn’t do as well last year as I would’ve liked,” he said. “But this year I’ve come back stronger. I only did stuff in the summer because of theater in fall and winter, but I think I’m ready to end on a high note.”
He’s also ready for his other passion – acting.
“No one really knows, but I’ve taken acting classes since middle school and did improv,” he said. “Freshman year I did the school’s variety show, then sophomore year I did comedy, and finally had my first dramatic role junior year and really loved it. I’ve got the bug and plan on pursuing acting.”
While an admirer of Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, Elfant also lists “The Big Lebowski, “Pulp Fiction” and “Memento” as some of his favorite flicks.
“I like the classic comedies and the movies that make you think,” he said. “I like the plot twists that make you watch and piece things together.”
Perhaps with Elfant and Snyder leading the way, the Spartans can piece together a state title. Now that would be a Hollywood ending.