The 2020-2021 season was definitely like no other for the Waunakee-DeForest gymnastics team. The Warriors had a limited schedule due to restrictions and protocols because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The most difficult part was not being able to have the whole team together while practicing,” Waunakee coach Brittany Hoffman said. “But we did everything we could to still make it feel like we were all one team. Another difficulty we had was finding competitions once we were allowed to compete. We ended up only having one virtual competition and one in-person dual, then competed at sectionals. I know the gymnasts and us coaches wish we would have had more opportunity to compete before the sectional tournament.”
Even with all the hurdles they had to navigate, Hoffman was happy with how the Warriors handled it.
“Even though we had our challenges and very minimal competitions, I would rate this season an 8 out of 10,” Hoffman said. “Our biggest highlight was just being able to have a season and get some in-person competitions in.”
In their first meet of the season, which took place virtually, the Lady Warriors fell 134.200-126.625 to Verona.
In their only in-person dual, Waunakee was tripped up 126.725-123.350 to West Bend East.
The Warriors closed out the regular season by placing sixth at the WIAA Division 1 Mukwonago sectional.
“I will remember that even with all the unknowns my whole team returned and we had four new members come out for our team,” Hoffman said. “I am in awe of the gymnasts and their determination to still come out for gymnastics even during a strange year.”
The Warriors had four seniors on this year’s roster, including Lexi Burgard, Bella Hernandez, Sydney Thompson and Taylor Rod.
“Lexi Burgard was unable to compete or practice this season due to injuries, but we are so thankful to have her a part of our team for her fourth year,” Hoffman said. “Taylor Rod, even though she was a manager this year due to injuries instead of a gymnast, like the past three years, she was always a positive influence to have on the team. Bella Hernandez really shined this season on the team. She competed varsity for the three events in the vault, bars and beam. Through her four years on the team she has truly improved and became such a huge asset to our team. Not only with scores but with her bubbly personality. Lastly, Sydney Thompson was one of our varsity all-around gymnasts and one of our captains. She stepped it up this year in many ways, including by being an amazing leader for the team through a difficult season and by bringing in some great scores for the varsity team as well. Sydney is hoping to go on to represent the state of Wisconsin in the Senior Nationals in Florida in May. We are going to miss every single one of them next season and wish them nothing but the best.”
Hoffman looks forward to getting things back to normal next season and the Warriors making improvements.
“We have a lot of work to do in the offseason to get our scores back to where they were a year ago,” Hoffman said. “We have a lot of upgrading to do in our routines and are looking forward to seeing the returning gymnast work hard in the off season to accomplish these goals. I am also looking forward to the new talent coming into our team next season.”