BY DAVID PEDERSEN
Rockford gymnastics lost two varsity competitors, but gained ground with several additions, including a co-head coach.
Joining Jessica Johnson as co-head coach is Mike Erickson, who has a lengthy background in gymnastics.
“He is a very talented spotter and extremely knowledgeable about the sport of gymnastics,” said Johnson. “Our team is very fortunate to have Mike as one of our coaches.”
Johnson also is excited about the interest in the sport at the school with 21 girls on varsity and junior varsity. Plus, the girls who return brought along something.
“Many of the girls have put a lot of time in outside of the season to better their skills,” adds Johnson. We are very impressed with the new skills the girls have gained.”
Rockford gained three new seniors and senior Brianna Schumacher returned to the team after taking some time off.
Team leaders return in junior captain Mikayla Erickson, senior captain Hailie McLearen and senior captain Amber Sahli. Erickson and McLearen will work on vault, balance beam and floor exercise, while Sahli is an all-arounder.
Also back with some varsity experience are junior Danielle Patnode, sophomores Madison Bartlett and Carolyn Seppala, ninth-grader Sarah Bue and eighth-graders Rachel Selly and Skylar Young.
A newcomer looking to compete on varsity is seventh-grader Heidi Trandahl. Jane Krause is a foreign exchange student from Germany. Amanda Thingvold is the other senior.
“We are so excited for this season,” adds Johnson. “The atmosphere in the gym is great due to the leadership by our captains, who play an important role on the team.”
Rockford opens the season at Watertown-Mayer, 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. The first home meet is Friday, Dec. 7 against Dassel-Cokato.