Eric Rauch February 28, 2020

Starting in March, 2020, the Allatoona High School will begin competing in a completely new sport for their school: gymnastics. New coach Autumn Keller has been practicing and getting her team of five girls ready for their first meet on March 6.

The team practices three days a week at Genesis Gymnastics in Kennesaw, and is looking forward to being the pioneering team for their school. In this first season our team motto is progress, not perfection, Coach Keller said. With this new sport endeavor, we are hoping for a showing that is respectable but mostly to have fun and start the foundation for years to come.

The girls on the team have varying experience levels, but all come from a gymnastics or dance background. All of them are underclass students, so they will be able to build and benefit from the experiences of year one.

Natalie Lubrano (freshman), Lexie Hunter, Zoe Hill, MacKenzie Hale (sophomore), and Izzy Scott (junior) are the current members of the team, but Coach Keller hopes that will soon change. I would love to see this program flourish and grow in number, as well as gain experience at competitions. As a type A individual, it is always my aspiration to be the best, and that means wanting to become a state-championship-level competitive team.

Having been a competitive gymnast nearly all her life, Coach Keller knows what that entails. I practically grew up in the gymnastics gym, she said. I was a competitive gymnast for 13 years, at every level from 2 to 10 in USA Gymnastics. It’s hard work, especially entering into the GHSA stage at competitions, but [Athletic Director] Amie Howard, the Allatoona administrators, and this team are up for the challenge.

I am very excited about adding another sport to Allatoona, Amie Howard said, and especially one that appeals to females. I think that the program has the chance to grow into one of our most successful at the school, and I am looking forward to watching the girls compete and have fun this year.

As the Athletic Director, Ms. Howard is tasked with making sure that the sports programs at her school are run well. But more than that, she knows that sports serve a greater purpose. As with all of the programs at Allatoona, she said, my biggest wish is that the girls learn teamwork and competitive skills, make some great memories, and learn skills that help them become better, more productive members of society. If those things happen, then the program is sure to be a success.