February 2020 ROAR

jeanniegregory

Coverage of Rockford athletics at all levels.

The Rams gymnastics team is a tough, tight-knit group who has enjoyed plenty of success this year. ~ Contributed Photo

LIKE A ROCK

Rams Gymnastics Team Stays Steady

JEANNIE GREGORY

ROAR Editor

The highly successful Rams gymnastics

team has picked up where they left

off last year. Their 2018-19 campaign saw

them complete an undefeated season in

the OK Rainbow Conference, claim the

Regional Crown, and follow those accomplishments

with runner-up status

in the MHSAA State Finals.

This year’s campaign is looking just

as impressive, with the Rams attaining

high scores and adding new skills to

their routines.

Michelle Ankney is in her fourth year

as the head coach and continues to inspire

her team of 17 athletes to reach

their goals. Twelve of them are building

on what they learned last year as returners.

Ankney is being ably assisted this

season by Macey Hilliker and Lindsay

Helsley and seniors Morgan Case and

Nicole Curtis are doing a great job of

co-captaining the team to add to their

success.

Gymnastics is not for the faint of

heart. There are plenty of opportunities

to sustain injuries; some can be extremely

serious, occasionally coming from the

constant pounding that gymnasts put

their body through as they practice and

perform their routines. Sit in the stands

with a group of gymnasts between

performances and you’ll see indications

everywhere on their bodies. Huge

bruises, bumps, scrapes, and blisters

in various stages are ever-present. The

group of gymnasts seem to take it all in

stride, viewing it as ‘just part of’ their

sport. It’s obvious they are having a lot

of fun this season, battling the pressure

with laughter. They control the sport, it

doesn’t control them.

They’ve continued their march to yet

another undefeated season. So far, the

team has won all of their dual meets,

putting up their highest score of the

season against Forest Hills, where they

earned a 145.075.

18 ROAR MAGAZINE FEBRUARY, 2020

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