Kegan Gates

Rockford gymnasts rock on beam

February 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

by KEGAN GATES  The gymnastics season is coming to an end and the Rockford gymnastics team is continually moving forward with scores and team unity. November came quickly, and with rumor of no coach, the gymnasts worried they may not have a season. Rockford Athletic Director Tim Erickson made it a point to keep gymnastics alive for Rockford and sought out coaches, Emily Nelson and Kegan Gates. As rookie high school coaches, everyone knew it would be a unique season for Rockford. The team started out with a total of six girls; four of them returning from last year and two senior girls returning from their freshman year. These six recruited and found seven more girls for a final team of 13, seven of whom have never done gymnastics before. The season began with fears of not doing very well with the loss of talented last-season seniors. However, the first competition proved that to be false. The girls won the first three-team competition against Lowell and Freeland. It was a great boost for both coaches and team, and everyone wanted more. As this season continues, each girl individually progresses. Together, the Rockford team made a poster of team goals and, within the first four competitions, 75 percent of the goals were achieved. January 22 was a huge meet for the girls, who traveled to Lowell High School early Saturday morning for an invitational. Lowell hosted Adrian, East Kentwood, Forest Hills, Kenowa Hills/Grandville, Mona Shores and Rockford. “We had no idea what kind of scores Adrian posted, and Kenowa Hills/Grandville is usually four or five points out of our reach. So right before march-in during our ‘pump-up huddle,’ we decided to only worry about beating our own scores and goals that day,” commented Coach Gates. “We had consistently been scoring 128s, and one of our captains, Jenelle Miller, said, ‘Let’s get a 130 today.’ The girls agreed and excitedly put their hands in for a Rockford team chant.” The Lady Rams began on balance beam, a tough place to start, but the team handled the pressure beautifully and counted no falls. Steady beam worker and senior captain Katie Palmisano stuck a routine and received an 8.2. Senior Lexi Merchant earned an 8.4. Sophomore Colleen Conroy posted […]