For the first time since 2008, the Cooper High School Gymnastics team has qualified for state.
Coach Connie Jackson says, “I got calls from all over the state from coaches. Like, ‘wow, are these scores real,’ and I was like, ‘yeah those are my kids and it’s real.'”
Abel Rodriguez added, “I’ve been trying to go to state for four years now, and being a senior, it’s just a good way to end the year and high school in general.”
Members of the gymnastics team say they are going to do their best to make the most of this opportunity, after qualifying last year and being unable to go because of the pandemic.
Abel Rodriguez says, “It was a little disappointing knowing that I could’ve gone to state but circumstances didn’t allow me to.”
Coach Connie Jackson added, “When we finally got to come back, these guys just hit high gear. They knew after last year, finally qualifying since 2008, They were ready to go and worked their tails off and I’m just so impressed with them.”
Coach Jackson says he is optimistic about the future of the program, because of all the young talent he has the chance to coach.
Abel Rodriguez says, “We’ve got up and coming freshman. Freshman that put up qualifying scores to help us go to state.”
Delaney Storey added, “It shows me that I know I have potential for next year if I keep working hard. Like if I got to state this year, what am I going to be competing this year.”
Both the Cooper and Abilene High gymnastics teams have taken major strides in recent years, as both programs are looking to get back to being the perennial gymnastics powerhouses they used to be.
Junior Delaney Storey is helping the cause by being one of the gymnasts competing individually at State for Abilene High, in just her first year on the team.
Delaney Storey says, “I think it would be unreal if I placed at State. I mean it’s great to get Abilene’s name up there again.
Coach Connie Jackson says, “Every year they come in here they know that everyone says they don’t have a chance. So they just have that desire to prove everybody wrong, and this year they definitely did.”
Coach Jackson says the team is dedicating their run to state to their custodian Patricia Brown, who got into a bad car accident earlier this school year.