High school gymnastics: Young Jacks honored at awards banquet
The young Bemidji High School gymnastics team was honored Sunday at its annual Awards Night banquet at the Peppercorn Restaurant.
The team, with no seniors and three freshmen among its top six performers, finished 4-2 in dual meets and placed sixth at the sectional.
Starting in the lower 120s, the team topped 130 in its final four starts and five of its last eight with a high of 132.8 at the Maple Lake Invitational, where it finished second.
Bemidji won the Park Rapids Invitational title and was second three times and third once in other multi-team events.
Don Papreck, completing his 11th season as head coach and 16th in the program, served as emcee for the event.
He presented three awards chosen by the team.
They were Most Improved-Katie Jensen; Most Dedicated-Nicole McDonald and Most Spirited-Rachel Bell, Brooke Beck, Audri Goodwin and Amanda Sycks.
Earned awards included Attendance-Goodwin and Jenna Nei and Beam Stick-Bell.
All-State honorable mention awards were presented to Jensen and Bell for posting averages of 9.0083 and 8.89 on the vault.
Joining the local 9.0 club were the same pair, also on the vault.
Event leaders through the year were Jensen on the vault, Bell on the bars and beam and McDonald in floor exercise.
Captains plaques went to Bell and Sycks, who were praised by their coach for their efforts in guiding the team this winter.
Parker will join that pair to serve as tri-captains for the 2010 team.
Bell also was cited for being named Athlete of the Week during the year by a local radio station.
The team was praised for earning a state Silver Academic Award, barely missing gaining a Gold.
Papreck also pointed to the team's great potential for the next two to three years, though stressing the need for off season training at the Gym Bin.
Earning their 2009 gymnastics letters were:
JUNIORS; Rachel Bell, Katie Parker and Amanda Sycks
FRESHMEN: Brooke Beck, Audriana Goodwin, Katie Jensen, Nicole McDonald and Chelsey Anderson
Point leaders were Bell 394, Jensen 376, McDonald 303, Beck 253 and Sycks 252.
The evening started with the annual team roast conducted by the captains and closed with the usual 30-minute video compiled by Papreck.
Next on the banquet circuit is the swim banquet tonight at the Northwest Technical College cafeteria.
The boys basketball awards night has been set for March 30 at 6 p.m. at the Middle School cafeteria.
The boys hockey banquet also has been set for March 30 at 6 at the Commons.