The Lady Bulldog gymnastics team starts its competitive season Monday, November 27, at the Sisseton Triangular. The team also is beginning a collaboration with the school district in Ortonville, Minnesota.
“Ortonville was unable to procure a gymnastics coach and approached the Milbank School Board about a collaboration,” said head coach for Milbank, Amber Fraasch. “These gymnasts have had to make a lot of adjustments including becoming familiar with a new coaching staff, teammates, practice times and rule requirements. They have done a great job trying new things and adjusting to the new program.”
Three high school and six middle school gymnasts from Ortonville are now part of the Milbank program. “All the gymnasts are on an equal playing field and are competing for spots on the junior varsity and varsity teams,” said Fraasch. “Our first requirement is good behavior, followed by practicing hard daily. Then, their competition scores will be the final piece to determining what events they will compete in and at what level of competition.”
Fraasch is in her third season as the head coach, and was the assistant coach for seven years. She is assisted by Karla DeVaal, Stacey Weinkauf, Amy Yamaura, and Jena Schulte.
Leading the team this season are seniors Jodi DeVaal, Emily Dornbusch, and Christina Lusk. Juniors include: Mackenzie Stegner, Hannah Streich, and Mackenzie Weinkauf. Sophomores are: Kayla Bury, Jalyn Engel, Maddie Gustafson, Lindsey Hartman, and Tori Hooth. Freshmen include: Greta Snaza, Sydney Spanton, and Peyten Wiese. Mya Johanson is the student manager.
Middle school gymnast eighth-graders are: Sierra Barse, Marisa Hynnek, Madison Mathews, Jocalynn McFarland, and Dani Yamaura. Seventh-graders include: Laney Forrette, Lilly Hartman, Lexi Hynnek, Abby Larson, Ashlyn O’Farrell, Rylie Overby, and Kennedy Stegner.
According to coach Fraasch, changes were made to the state qualifying requirements from the region meets for this year. “The prequalifying requirements for the state meet remain the same. This year, only the top team automatically advances to State rather than the top two. The remaining teams will be wild cards based on team scores.” Fraasch also explained the top five individuals on each event automatically advance rather than the top 20. “The remaining spots go to in-season qualifiers and then are wild cards and filled by scores. This should help our team qualify more individuals to the state meet this year. Last year, the top four teams in the state were in our region, with us as number four. Therefore, we sent fewer gymnasts to State, even though their routines would have outscored gymnasts from Region 2 that qualified.”
Lady Bulldogs 2017-2018 Gymnastics schedule:
Following is the schedule for Milbank this season:
|11/27/2017||Sisseton Triangular||Sisseton||6:30 p.m. CT|
|12/5/2017||Hendricks-RTR, MN Dual||Milbank||6:30 p.m. CT|
|12/9/2017||Hub City Invite||Aberdeen||12:00 p.m. CT|
|12/12/2017||Christmas Invite||Britton||6:00 p.m. CT|
|12/16/2017||Lewis Family Drug Invite||Milbank||11:00 a.m. CT|
|12/28/2017||Winter Wonderland||Vermillion||11:00 a.m. CT|
|1/5/2018||Sisseton Invite||Sisseton||5:00 p.m. CT|
|1/13/2018||Madison Invite||Madison||12:00 p.m. CT|
|1/20/2018||Watertown Invite||Watertown||12:00 p.m. CT|
|1/27/2018||Deuel Invite||Clear Lake||12:00 p.m. CT|
|2/1/2018||Region/NEC Meet||Milbank||6:00 p.m. CT|
*All times are Central time
Seniors: (l. to r.) Jodi DeVaal, Emily Dornbusch, and Christina Lusk.