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Hopes are high for gymnastics

The 2007-2008 gymnastics season was a successful one for the Morris Area Tigers.

"It was a very positive year and many were not ready to see it come to an end," said coach Trent Oberg. "Prior to this season we had a three-year 'growth' period and now our slump is over."

The improvements individually and as a team were evident at every meet.

"The gymnasts were starting to realize their talents and abilities which made for some inner team challenges, as well as motivation," Oberg said. "Personal bests were improving meet after meet as routines continued to develop and mature."

The junior varsity squad began the season with a nearly full roster for the first year in a long time. The first meet posted a team total of 49.6 which is one of the higher season opener scores that coach Oberg can remember.

With the numerous personal bests and top three individual finishes, the JV team had four wins - which has not been done according to coach Oberg's records.

"Hard work and dedication paid off," said Oberg.

By the end of the season, the JV improved their score by nearly 30 points to finish with a 79.2 - just .8 from the goal that they had set.

In varsity action, the squad started out the season scoring a 94.95 at the first meet.

"As the Tiger gymnasts pushed themselves and one another, team scores improved," said Oberg.

In nine of the twelve meets that varsity competed, team scores were over 100.

"It was great to see that growth and determination," he said.

The varsity also saw numerous personal bests and top-five finishes in West Central Conference meets.

Oberg said the highlight of the season came on January 11 at a home meet against Ortonville. He explained that Morris Area and Ortonville have been similar in ability levels over the last few years.

"It was a truly exciting meet," he said.

When the scores were tabulated, the Tigers posted a 110.15 to Ortonville's 105.95. This was the first win in three years for the varsity Tigers.

There were three very close finishes for the Tigers as well. Ortonville beat the Tigers by 1.4 early in the season, then by .75 in December. The closest meet came at the Section 6A Meet when Ortonville squeaked by the Tigers by .05. Overall, the varsity gymnasts improved their score by over 18 points to finish the season with a 113.075.

"All of the gymnasts deserved awards this season," said Oberg. "The hard work and efforts they gave are a preview of what the future holds."

Oberg said the girls are already excited for the next season.

"As we headed home from the Section Meet, the gymnasts were making plans for their routines and what new tricks they wanted to work on."

The Tigers did not have any seniors on the squad this year.

"With all of the gymnasts returning next year and the incoming seventh graders, we will continue to grow and have many more positive and exciting seasons to come," said Oberg. "There may be some new school records established in the next few years. The depth of the team is wonderful to see and the coaches have high hopes for the future."