Practice makes perfect in gymnastics

by Sally Krutzig
What requires all the hard work and brute strength of football, the poise and grace of dance, and the mind boggling moves of a team of ninjas? 
The Maple Lake Irish gymnastics team works at all these things, to excel at the sport they love. 
“I love being with my teammates and the intensity of the sport,” said Courtney Couette.
Gymnastics has never ceased to amaze people. How they do flips on a four-inch wide beam or always seem to land perfectly after spiraling off a vault, is still a mystery to many. Yet the girls take it all in stride. 
“My favorite are dive forward rolls, because they are fun and make me feel like I'm flying,” said Bonnie Jude.
The gymnastics meets also include events such as bars, vaults, beam, and floor.
Of course, like all sports, these events require plenty of practice. 
“Routines, routines, routines,” laughs Head Coach Kaitlyn Helmbrecht when describing what they work on most. “We are doing lots of routines and conditioning. We put together the elements that are required for each event.”
This year’s team is a little different than last year's, since almost half of them are in seventh grade. 
“It's definitely a fresh start since we’re such a young team. We will do pretty well, though, since most of the seventh graders came in with previous experience,” said Helmbrecht.
Their difference in grades doesn’t seem to stop them from being what Nina Simonette calls “a big, happy family.” 
Helmbrecht concurred. “They all get along pretty well for being so diverse in age. There is a lot of talent among them.”
Hopefully, that talent will show in the upcoming season. 
“This season I hope I can get better in all of my events and achieve some goals of mine,” said Couette.
Maple Lake will see if that, along with all the team's aspirations, comes true on Thursday, December 1, in Litchfield, where they will have their first meet. 
Members of this year’s Irish gymnastics team are, seniors: Bonnie Jude, Kristi Reid; juniors: Courtney Couette, Nina Simonette; sophomores: Keena Gist, Courtney Pribyl; freshman: Heather Schlueter; eighth graders: Heather Blahut, Maddie Nelson; seventh graders: Jordyn Bakeberg, Jordan Sifferle, Delaney Sifferle, Marisa Hendrickson, Kali Moy, Abby Bentley, Shaelee Pribyl. Head coach is Kaitlyn Helmbrecht and assistant coaches are Jackie O'Brien and Paul Fouquette.
What requires all the hard work and brute strength of football, the poise and grace of dance, and the mind boggling moves of a team of ninjas? 
The Maple Lake Irish gymnastics team works at all these things, to excel at the sport they love. 
“I love being with my teammates and the intensity of the sport,” said Courtney Couette.
Gymnastics has never ceased to amaze people. How they do flips on a four-inch wide beam or always seem to land perfectly after spiraling off a vault, is still a mystery to many. Yet the girls take it all in stride. 
“My favorite are dive forward rolls, because they are fun and make me feel like I'm flying,” said Bonnie Jude.
The gymnastics meets also include events such as bars, vaults, beam, and floor.
Of course, like all sports, these events require plenty of practice. 
“Routines, routines, routines,” laughs Head Coach Kaitlyn Helmbrecht when describing what they work on most. “We are doing lots of routines and conditioning. More information appears in this week's Messenger.
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