There will be a lot of changes for Blue Earth Area gymnastics this year.
Team numbers are down, many of the gymnasts are young but they seem to have a great team dynamic. And, two new coaches will be taking on the challenge.
Marrisa Lore and Erica Sunde-Nowak have taken over the role of head coach together.
Lore says they are excited for the season and have a few simple wishes for the girls this year.
"My biggest goal this season is just for everyone to have fun,"?she adds.
Sunde-Nowak adds she just hopes they can move forward injury free.
"With so few people, there is little room for injury," she explains.
There will be five girls on varsity including Erin Olson, Haley Resutek, Mallorie Huber, Melissa Hagedorn and Brianna Ziegler.
"We only have one senior, one junior and one sophomore,"?Lore adds.
The rest are in seventh and eighth grade.
"We have a young team this year so we have a lot of building to do,"?Lore says.
"This is definitely a rebuilding season,"?Sunde-Nowak agrees.
The first meet will be in Winnebago on Dec. 3 against Worthington. The coaches aren't sure how it will go, but they do know it will be a good measuring tool for where the team stands.
"I don't think a lot of other teams lost very many girls to graduation last year so there might be some tough competition out there," Sunde-Nowak says.
And, with the first meet approaching quickly, they have a lot to prepare in a small amount of time. That also means they haven't had much time to pick up on the strengths and weaknesses of each team member.
"So, it's kind of unique,"?Lore explains, "because all five of our varsity girls will be competing as all around."
But, the two coaches hit the ground running by having the girls get right into conditioning on the first day of practice.
"Some of them didn't realize the conditioning that goes along with it,"?Lore says.
They also had each person set individual goals along with team goals which they will work on throughout the year.
"The younger girls have a lot of big goals for themselves,"?Sunde-Nowak says.
And, the coaches hope to help them accomplish those, as well as helping to boost their confidence along the way.
"The new girls are a little reserved yet, so I want to break down those walls," Lore adds.
Once that happens, the coaches feel the next couple of seasons could go very well since there will be more experience to work with.
And, experience is just why these two new coaches know what it takes to be successful gymnasts.
Lore's mother and Sunde-Nowak's aunt, which makes them cousins, is Sandy Oswald who owns the gymnastic center in town.
"Gymnastics was our life growing up," Sunde-Nowak says. Both participated in the sport in high school and even went on to coach after graduation. Sunde-Nowak was an assistant coach for BEA and Lore coached the team for two years.
"I?love gymnastics so I know this is going to fun,"?Lore adds.
Lore even went to state individually and with her team for gymnastics when she was in high school.
"BEA gymnastics has only gone to state a couple of times," she says. "And, I was on the team one of those years."
The co-coaches not only share family ties, they also share a love and passion for the sport of gymnastics.
"All the girls have a lot of potential," Lore says. "But, I just want them to have a fun experience and set the stage for future seasons."
So, while practices have just started and the team is almost completely new including the coaches there is hope for a good year.
"The older girls have experience and the younger girls are excited to learn,"?Lore says.
"It's going to be a fun year," Sunde-Nowak adds.