Yellowjackets ready for Class A Championships
There will be a new Class A gymnastics champion in 2020 and the Perham Yellowjackets hope it comes from Section 8A. The Yellowjackets snapped Detroit Lakes’ dominance of Section 8A when they won the section championships and now hope to follow that up at the Class A Championships when they compete on Feb. 21.
The Lakers have won the past five Class A championships, while Melrose Area and New Prague won championships prior to that. The Yellowjackets dominated the gymnastics scene when they won the previous eight titles during a span of 2004-11.
Current Perham gymnastics head coach Jenna Kupferschmid was a member of those teams and is excited to experience it as a coach.
After a morning of some great send-offs at our schools, we’ve got an official escort out of town as the Jacket Gymnasts are off to State! #GoJackets @Lakes995sports @PerhamWDCSports @PerhamHigh pic.twitter.com/kjyKlcgod1— Jacket Activities (@YellowjacketAD) February 20, 2020
The Yellowjackets will have the exact same rotation they did during the Section 8A Championships. Perham will start on the balance beam.
“We had a good week of practice and we have the same rotation that we started on in sections,” Kupferschmid said. “We have been doing that rotation all week and hoping we can do what we did at sections down at state.”
Kupferschmid said the team is taking it all in. She said the team is excited for the championships.
“They are working hard and I think the nerves are starting to hit,” Kupferschmid said. “We are trying to keep it relaxed and fun for them, yet serious and making sure they are focusing.”
Kupferschmid said she hopes her team can relax and have some fun when they go into the championships at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium.
“If they can go into the meet, relax and have fun and not let the nerves get the best of them,” Kupferschmid said. “I think they will have a good chance at being in the top three or be right there to win it too if they hit. There isn’t a lot of room for error with these close scores. They can do it if they just do what they have practiced all year.”
Kupferschmid said competing in a section like Section 8A has helped the Yellowjackets prepare for the Class A Championships. The section featured three top-10 teams with Perham, Melrose Area and Detroit Lakes. The Yellowjackets finished the season ranked second in scoring average, just behind Big Lake, who qualified by winning Section 7A.
“I always think you compete to your competitors level. Having a hard section is a good and bad thing, it’s harder to get out of,” Kupferschmid said. “If you can step up and compete to their level, a lot of times you put yourself in place to win. That just happened to be going our way on Saturday at sections. If they can do it again, they have a good chance at taking the top three, if not the state title.”
Kupferschmid said the return to the Roy Wilkins Auditorium is like another away meet. She first competed as an eighth grader at the Wilkins Auditorium and she says it feels more like a state championship meet.
“They have a balcony that goes up and around and no one is really on the floor,” Kupferschmid said. “It’s going to be fun and I’m excited for them to see this place and compete at a new place. I think it’s going to be a good thing.”
The Yellowjackets begin on beam and follow on floor, before competing on the vault and closing on the uneven bars. The Class A Championships begin at 11 a.m. on Feb. 21 at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium. The Yellowjackets will be competing on rotations 1, 3, 5 and 7 for the championships.
Kupferschmid said the Yellowjackets are appreciative of the support from the schools and the community.