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Successful season for Tiger gymnasts

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All West Central Conference recipients in the 2013-2014 season were (from left) freshman Kendra Jergenson, junior Kourtney Giese, and freshman Savannah Aanerud.3 / 4
MA/C-A Tiger awards went to (from left) senior co-captains Kendra Buro (Most Dedicated) and Abby Travis (Tiger Award), freshmen Savannah Aanerud (MVG) and Noel Schieler (Most Improved).4 / 4

The Morris Area / Chokio-Alberta gymnastics program has grown tremendously over the past three years with an increasing number of students coming out every season. Head coach Trent Oberg has been with the program for three seasons, and he ranks this year his second best season he has coached thus far.

“It was one of the best seasons I’ve coached, I would say top two for sure, based upon the girls attitudes day in and day out, it was positive, it was upbeat, they were pushing each other and challenging one another, and for once so far in my coaching career… We didn’t have any drama,” coach Oberg said.

The Tiger gymnasts had a very successful season with over 160 personal bests, new high event totals, and team highs, coming close to knocking down some school records.

“All and all we had a very fantastic season,” Oberg said. “A lot of individuals put in the extra time during the season and out of season in the weight room, and it’s definitely shown this year. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The highest posted score for the varsity was a 124.525, the second highest score in MA/C-A history with 125.825 being the school record.

“We’re going to take that down next season, I guarantee it,” Oberg commented with confidence.

The numbers for the gymnastics program have been outstanding the past few seasons. The program continues to thrive and grow, and as a coach, Oberg loves to see that happen.

“Depth has been great. Our numbers have continually grown since I started with the program three years ago,” Oberg said. “[Having numbers] makes things a lot easier when we hit unfortunate circumstances like injuries or illnesses.”

The Tigers lose two senior captains, Abby Travis and Kendra Buro.

“Our two seniors are what started the season off so well for us. These girls did a lot of work before the season even began without even telling the coach,” Oberg said. “Which was totally fine, just less things on my mind. They were decorating the gym, they coordinated bonding with the rest of the team to make individualized posters and quotes and things to make our gym more ‘homey’ feeling. We’ll miss them both, but wish them the best of luck in the future. ”

The Tigers hope to start next season and reach more milestones than this last season.

“We have a great bunch of girls, and if they put in the effort and determination like they did this season,” Oberg said. “There’s no stopping them. They will succeed and do well.”

The winter sports banquet on Monday, March 10 honored 11 varsity letter winners along with several other honors and accomplishments the girls had throughout the season.

The Tigers had several West Central Conference performers of the week. Those were seniors Buro and Travis, junior Kourtney Giese, and freshmen Savannah Aanerud and Kendra Jergenson.

Travis was the recipient of the MA/C-A Tiger Award.

“It was because of her and her counterpart that got us off to a great start this season,” Oberg said. “Whether it was behind the scenes, keeping the coach in line, making sure all paperwork is done, she was the glue that held the team together. Abby is an all around positive and pleasant individual. We’ll miss her next year.”

Most Improved went to Noel Schieler who started out the season on one event, then two and ended the season doing three events. Oberg hopes to get her on all four events for next season.

“If I had a 29 plaques, I’d give everyone of them a plaque,” Oberg said. “That’s the way our season went this year. Noel did very well and improved from 1-2-3 events and I think I made her promise to do all four events next season, so we’ll see how that goes. She’s a great competitor for us and will be an asset next year.”

Other captain Kendra Buro was given the Most Dedicated award.

“Kendra struggled with some injury issues and fought her way through it,” Oberg said. “Many days she was in tears, but she just kept going, kept trying, and she kept pushing… And as a coach, seeing that passion and dedication, we really appreciate that. She was a good leader this season.”

Most Valuable Gymnast (MVG) really took some big strides this season, and that award went to freshman Savannah Aanerud.

“She took some phenomenal strides this year, improving her all around score by over five points from beginning to end of the season,” Oberg said. “In gymnastics, that is a pretty big feat to accomplish. She’ll be a big contender for us in upcoming seasons.”

It was the first time in three years of coaching that Oberg has seen three Tiger gymnasts receive all-conference recognition.

“We’ve had two and one honorable mention, but never three all-conference,” Oberg said. “Just another great accomplishment we’ve seen this season.”

All-West Central Conference recipients were Aanerud, Jergenson, and Giese.

Also, probably the most impressive accomplishment this season, the entire Tiger gymnastics program was voted Section 6A Academic Team Champion and Class A Academic Team Champion runner up.

Sixty percent of the roster, so in the Tigers’ case 17 gymnasts’ grade point averages were combined and averaged. The Tigers cumulatively averaged a 3.926 / 4.0 based scale– For an average GPA of 17 students, coaches and fans agree, that is pretty impressive.

“I am very proud of these girls’ work in and out of the gym, in the classroom,” Oberg commented.

Oberg is excited to see what next season brings, returning all but two of his gymnasts.

“We are very proud of what our girls accomplished this season, it was an awesome season, and we look forward to next year and the years to come.”

Brooke Kern

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