STICKING THE LANDING: KRCS Opens Gymnastics Program in 21-22 School Year
WHEN ELLA DANYO AND JOY MONTAGUE STEPPED ONTO THE MAT TO PERFORM THEIR INDIVIDUAL FLOOR ROUTINES IN THE 2021-2022 SEASON, IT MARKED A HISTORIC MOMENT FOR KING’S RIDGE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL.
The first-ever gymnastics team to compete in school history.
“The girls were really adaptable,” KRCS gymnastics coach Kaile Carroll said. “So, watching them compete on the floor and adjust in a split second was really cool. It’s been really rewarding to see them be so flexible literally and figuratively, in their different areas.”
Carroll, who is the program coordinator for cheer at KRCS along with track, has a strong background in cheerleading.
The former University of Georgia cheerleader did it for three years in college and there are some aspects of the sport that translates.
“When I was in college my first two years, I was taught by a gymnast how to do certain flips and tricks, which we call baskets in the cheerleading world,” Carroll said. “And those movements translate really well into some floor routines for gymnastics.”
Heading into this year at KRCS, Carroll wanted to “provide a space” for students like Danyo and Montague to compete in their sport while representing the high school.
The duo competed in three meets against public and private schools, and both participated in the floor routing, while Montague also did the beam.
“I’m really proud of them for overcoming some fears as well,” Carroll said. “Being a junior, Ella hadn’t competed in a few years. Then Joy, taking on a varsity sport her freshman year and being competitive, was fun to see. Just seeing the girls light up has been such a joy.”
Amelia Erbrick was the team manager this season, helping coach while she recovered from an injury in hopes of competing in the 2022-23 season.
With their first season in program history officially in the books, Carroll hopes that seeing KRCS compete on the mat and beam will inspire the younger students at King’s Ridge to join and become the next wave of Tigers gymnasts.
“I really hope this opens the door for some of our younger kids,” she said. “We have a lot of lower school kids who may be interested in gymnastics as they get older. Seeing the little kids look up to these high school girls and seeing them help build the program out is what I’m excited for in year two. They are just paving a way for more kids to come participate.”