By Todd Danner
Lily March has a passion for gymnastics.
This passion prompted Scott and Cindy March’s 12-year-old daughter of Schleswig to dream big with the hope of competing at Louisiana State University (LSU), which has one of the best gymnastics programs in the country. .
“Oh, I definitely saw myself competing at LSU. It’s a dream I’ve had time and time again,” March commented in a recent phone interview with the Denison Bulletin and Review.
Prior to diving into gymnastics, March made her tumbling debut at the age of five at Sherri and Julie’s Dance and Gymnastics in Denison under coaches Julie Schmidt and Taylor Ewoldt.
March attended Sherri and Julie’s from 2014-2020. From 2016-2018 she participated in Salute Gymnastics at Atlantic under the direction of coaches Teresa Middents and Kelbe Flathers.
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Since the summer of 2018, March has been traveling to Omaha, Nebraska, training 20 hours a week at Premier Gymnastics, owned by Tom Koll.
She started at level 3 and is currently at level 7 after completing the requirements to level up.
“There are certain skills and scoring requirements that must be met in order to progress,” commented Lily’s mother Cindy, who takes turns with Father Scott driving Lily to Omaha three days a week and twice on weekends to training purposes.
Lily’s Level 3 coach was Courtney Larson.
She was under the direction of Taylor Gunnels at Levels 4 and 5 and is currently under the direction of Stephanie Wacker and Bob Matthews, her Level 6 and 7 coaches.
“It’s just nice for me. I go there for fun, but at the same time I’m learning a lot of new skills,” noted Lily, who performs routines on the beam, uneven bars, vault. and floor exercise.
“I should say the balance beam just because I feel like I have a good balance. It takes a lot of concentration to play on a wooden beam that is only four inches wide. And it can be scary sometimes. “added Lily, who was the Nebraska State Finalist on the Level 6 Balance Beam last March.
“I like the floor exercise because you can create your own routine and your own musical selections. I wasn’t the best on uneven bars at levels 3, 4 or 5, but I could figure it out, and this is the event in which I think I am the furthest along, ”said Lily.
“The jump was not easy for me, but I’m improving,” added Lily, a seventh grader at Schleswig Middle School and the third youngest of five for Scott and Cindy.
Lily has two sisters (Rylie, 24, and Emma, a freshman) and two brothers (Aiden, a freshman at Denison High School, and Jack, a sophomore).
According to Cindy, one factor that helps Lily in gymnastics is her experience in competitive dance.
“She is currently participating in dance competitions as part of the 5-Star Dance and Tumbling Academy in Ida Grove owned by Kristina Boysen,” Cindy said.
“These two sports definitely complement each other,” added Cindy.
Lily’s training will take her to Des Moines on Friday, January 14, when she competes in the Chow’s Winter Classic at Hy-Vee Hall.
“We’re so proud of her. Gymnastics isn’t just a seasonal sport. It’s 20 hours a week all year round and the schedule can be grueling. It really takes a certain level of commitment. and we remind Lily that all the time, “Cindy said.
Lily toyed with the idea of participating in other sports in college like basketball.
“My physical education coach wanted me to play basketball and I thought about it,” Lily said.
That’s when Cindy stepped in.
“There are so many hours in a day and a week,” Cindy said. “I thought maybe she could sprinkle it into other activities, but it’s also my job to help her make realistic choices.”
“We told her that if she really wanted to, she had to stay the course, show dedication, be thorough and committed. She did and we couldn’t be more proud of her,” Cindy said. .
With Lily’s passion and the support of her family, the dream of a gymnastics scholarship at LSU wouldn’t surprise anyone when and if it came true.