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Tigers get 'fired up' for gymnastics

Tiger gymnastics team awards were announced at the Winter Sports Awards program Monday at Morris Area. Kelsey Voges was named Most Dedicated, Rachel Moser tied for Most Valuable, assistant coach Jodi Snell was recognized for receiving the Section 6A Assistant Coach of the Year Award, Kourtney Giese tied for Most Valuable, Melinda Schmidgall was named Most Improved, and Emily Moser was given the Team Spirit Award.2 / 2

The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta gymnastics team had continued success during the 2010-11 season.

The team was led by senior captains Cammi Aanerud, Amanda Moser, and Rachel Moser.

Numbers have steadily increased, with 30 participants starting the season.

"(We) were pleasantly surprised. It was more than we were planning on," said coach Trent Oberg. "Numbers created some challenges and space issues for practice, but we made adjustments as needed and the girls realized that equipment time was valuable and used time productively.

"With the size of the team, we had great team depth. There were more routines ready than we had space for. We had to rotate gymnasts to give chances to each girl. Thus, we had inner-squad 'push' to work hard and be aggressive. No spot was a given.

"We don't take these decisions lightly. A lot of thought and process goes into it. Our decisions are based upon what is best for the team. It may not always be the highest scoring routine, but the effort, attitude, drive and determination the athlete shows are all considered.

"We as coaches saw a lot of potential and talent from the Tiger gymnasts," added Oberg. "Many of the girls had trained over the summer or attended gymnastics camps. There was evidence of definite growth and improvement from the previous season.

"Through hard work, positive attitude and team support, there were significant improvements at both the junior varsity and varsity levels. Each individual on the team can be credited with the growth this season.

"The coaches are very proud of the accomplishments that were made at the individual and team levels. The gymnasts realized early in the season that we were becoming more competitive with other programs.

Several gymnasts had stuck beam routines during competition this season.

"Kourtney Giese, Emma Zosel, Rachel Moser, Ally Morehouse, Kindra Cannon, Hailey Kotts, and Paige Schieler have the 'sticky feet' bragging rights for staying on the beam.

"The number of season-high scores and personal-best scores was amazing," Oberg added. "It's hard to even keep track of as the scores continued to improve throughout the season."

The Tigers set and re-set three season-high team totals, 19 season-high event totals, and 102 personal-best scores.

"Every gymnast can be congratulated for that - each girl was a part of the improvements.

"We were very impressed with the growth and depth of the team this season," Oberg said. "It was hard to accept that the season was done. It went very fast and the gymnasts made a lot of improvements. Many of the gymnasts wanted to keep going. They're already looking forward to next season.

"I can honestly say that this was the best season the Tiger gymnastics program has had in the last five plus years.

"Our schools and communities should be proud of the gymnasts' accomplishments academically as well," added Oberg.

The Tigers received a Silver rating for their GPA. In order to qualify, a team must use 60 percent of its roster to find the teams' average GPA. The Tigers used 17 gymnasts and the average GPA of those gymnasts calculated out to be 3.663.

Two gymnasts were recognized by the West Central Conference. Hailey Kotts and Kourtney Giese were both named a Performer of the Week.

Assistant coach Jodi Snell received the Section 6A Assistant Coach of the Year Award. This is voted upon by the coaches of the section.

"She is very deserving of this award," Oberg said. "We appreciate all that she has done for the Tiger gymnastics program."

"A special 'Thank You' goes out to all of the gymnasts, their parents, and anyone else that has helped make this season a fun and memorable one," concluded Oberg. "We appreciate all of your hard work and efforts to support the Tiger gymnastics program."