By John Raffel
Rockford’s gymnastics team opens its season with its home Flip Flop Invitational on Saturday.
The Rams will also be home on Jan.10 against Forest Hills.
“December was a month of growth for us,” Rockford coach Alyssa Burke said. “We started to put routines together, add skills to our routines, and we also did a lot of team building activities to continue to grow together as a team. We also enjoyed scrimmaging with Forest Hills over Christmas break.”
The Rams have been gearing up for the Flip Flop meet.
“We are excited to get the season started,” Burke said. “The first meet is always the most nerve-wracking for the girls. It will be a great learning experience for our large group of freshman. Following that, we have a busy month of dual meets and invitationals. Our goals are to be consistent and grow our skills throughout the month.
I think that consistency and confidence will be the keys to our success this season. We have been playing games, doing pressure routines, etc., to help the girls try to nail routines in many different situations and under various levels of pressure. Staying positive and healthy will be factors in our success this season as well.”
The key for success in gymnastics is obviously to avoid injuries.
“Other than a few minor injuries, our team is currently healthy,” Burke said. “We will be counting on our six seniors to lead the team this season. Ally Faulkner and Kaitie Killinger, our captains, will lead the team with their positive attitude and ability to help and encourage their teammates. Nicole Coughlin and Carly Coughlin will be strong all-around competitors for us. Chantel Lokers will also be a key performer for us this season, with her grace and consistency.
“We also have a strong group of freshman, who will have a great impact on our team this year. Morgan Case and Ashley Faulkner will be strong all-around competitors for us this season as well.”
Rockford has won the last two state titles.
“We are looking forward to another great season,” Burke said. “This team has done a great job of coming together. They are fun, encouraging, and determined. We have a lot of potential, but consistency and confidence in our skills and routines will be key this year. We are excited to see what the season holds for us.”