Brianna Johnson
Brianna Johnson
The Caledonia/Spring Grove/Houston gymnastics team has been busy preparing for the upcoming season. Warrior coach Jess Wiese is entering her second season as head of the program (her seventh season in coaching). The squad was young a season ago, and C/SG/H brings back a lot of girls from last season.

“The season went well,” she said, “even though it was a building year. While we didn’t always have the best scores, our girls did gain a lot of new skills and showed a lot of heart. It was a season of what we call ‘the two H’s,’ happy and healthy.”

To say last season’s team was young is a bit of an understatement. There were no seniors on the squad, only two juniors and a lot of middle schoolers.

While this team has a lot more experience, the squad is still young in terms of grade level. This year’s roster only has one senior (Rachel Welsh), three juniors (Alissa Johnson, Becky Meyer and Kourtney Olson) and no sophomores. The rest of the roster has 3 freshmen, 3 eighth-graders, and 8 seventh-graders.

“We have a lot of returning girls this season,” Wiese said, “and it’ll be the largest team I’ve ever coached with 18 girls out.”

The first couple of weeks of practice involves shaking off the rust and getting back to where the team was at the end of last season. A lot of the girls are getting new (floor) routines, and they are trying to solidify those up with new choreography and dance.

“We’re still determining which girls will be where in individual events,” she said. “The first meet is coming up on Saturday (Dec. 2) at Byron. The squad for this meet will be made up of the six girls that competed in the section meet last year.”

Those six girls will take to the floor in Byron include Welsh, Olson and Meyer, eighth-grader Brianna Johnson (from Spring Grove) plus Maddie Wieser and Emma Ranzenberger. The girls will compete as both individuals and as a team.

“I like to compare it to wrestling,” she said. “The girls will take part in the four main events as individuals but their scores will make up the entire team score. They’ll take part in the vault, the uneven bars, beam, and floor events.

“The girls seem to be shaking off the rust pretty quickly,” she added. “I’m looking forward to the first meet and see what we can come up with and put out there on the floor. We spent two days a week in the offseason from June through early August working on our skills and conditioning in the gymnasium, so I’m hoping for a good first performance.”

The Warriors will see some good competition both in the Southeast Conference and in the section. Wiese said watch out for Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Byron in both the conference and in the section, too.

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Caledonia/Spring Grove/Houston Gymnastics

*conference meet----------6 p.m. unless noted

Sat.12.02......at Byron 12 pm vs. Byron, Red Wing, Pine Island, La Crescent-Hokah

Tues.12/05...at Stewartville*

Tues. 12/12..Kasson-Mantorville*

Thur. 12/21..at La Crescent-Hokah*

Thur. 1/04....Byron*

Fri. 1/12 ......at Pine Island*

Tues. 1/16....Stewartville*

Thur.1/18.....at Kasson-Mantorville*

Thur. 1/25....Pine Island*

Thur. 2/01....at Byron*

Thur. 2/08....La Crescent-Hokah*

Sat. 2/17 .......section meet at Roch. 8 am