Gymnastics: Lakers to be crazy deep
There will be some crazy depth for the 2013-14 Detroit Lakes gymnastics team this season, with the majority of the gymnasts still underclassmen.
Even though the Lakers will employ a very youthful lineup each night, the majority of the gymnasts have strong veteran experience, along with top-end skills, which will make them a favorite in each of their meets.
“I will have to be creative setting the lineups and what gymnast will compete in what event, but that’s going to be fun,” said DL head coach Steve Zamzo. “My challenge is going to be able to get all the gymnasts competing in meets.”
The Lakers will have at least a dozen gymnasts who can compete on the varsity level and not just perform, but perform well.
There will be a handful of consistent contributors who will also go all-around, led by freshman Molly Lyngaas, who finished sixth overall in the Class 1A state all-around meet last year, while taking seventh on vault, 10th on bars and 14th on beam.
“Molly will be our top all-around gymnast,” Zamzo said. “We’ll also have three juniors who have been competing on varsity since seventh grade being important contributors.”
Those juniors include Hannah Okeson, Allison Berg and Katie Crawford.
Berg had a solid 2012-13 season, and capped her year by taking 29th in the state meet on vault.
Crawford will also be one of DL’s all-around performers, as well as eighth graders Emma Disse and Alexis Ostlie.
“We will be still mixing and matching our gymnasts with their events, since we have 12 who have varsity caliber talent,” Zamzo said.
The schedule will also give Zamzo and his coaching staff the ability to fully utilize all their gymnasts.
There will be two meets schedule for Dec. 7. The regular varsity will compete in the St. Cloud Apollo meet, which attracts some of the best teams in the state, while the normal junior varsity squad will travel to the Morris meet.
There will also be a couple of meets where the junior varsity will compete against the other teams’ varsity.
The Laker lineup will be billowing with talent, which also includes freshmen Johanna Jernberg and Leah Chavez, senior Claire Nelmark, seventh graders Cora Okeson and Lexi Yliniemi, sophomore Jordyn Peterson and freshman Mathia Olds.
The Lakers also will have a couple of Frazee gymnasts on the team, after the two schools joined their programs. They include freshman Cassidy Ziegler and senior Hannah Brady.
As per every season, the grand rivalry between the Lakers and Perham will continue to burn.
With the big turnover on the coaching staff and the transition of new Yellowjacket head coach Jenna Schmitz from ousted Charlie Fleck, this rivalry remains strong and even more interesting.
But it’s not one which Zamzo and the Lakers will think has changed because of the staffing changes in Perham.
“Charlie is a great gymnastics coach and he knew how to get the most out of his girls,” Zamzo said. “But Perham will still be very good and Jenna is a very capable head coach.
“They won’t give up anything to us and we are not taking anything for granted.”
Alexandria also enters Section 8-1A this year, as the Cardinals also will prove to be tough contenders for state berths.
The Lakers will open their season in the Jackie Mann meet in Perham Saturday and open their home schedule Dec. 14, with Park Rapids visiting the Flyers Gymnastics Facility.
The 2013-14 Detroit Lakes gymnastics schedule:
30 at Perham
7 at Morris (JV team)
7 at St. Cloud Apollo (Varsity)
10 at Bemidji
14 Park Rapids
20 at Perham
3 at Fergus Falls
4 at Fargo North
7 Little Falls
11 at Moorhead
16 at Park Rapids
25 True Team TBD
28 at Park Rapids
15 Section meet TBD