Girls gymnastics: Scouting Lake County
Antioch co-op Coach: Angel Campese (first year)
Newcomers: Seniors Jessica Lamberty, Cira Palma, Katelyn Steuer; Juniors Maya Carey Alanna Lowry, Natalie Warnes; Freshmen Maya Carey, Nina Carey, Allison Grosche, Soffia Gulcher, Zoe Kane, Katie Keating, Ally Olsen, Samantha Tovar. Outlook: Antioch returns to girls gymnastics as a team for the first time in several years, as a co-op program with Lakes. Lakes last had a program nine years ago. Coach Angel Campese will lead 14 new gymnasts with help from Debbie Bessette and assistant coach Joe Rogalski, who has had experience coaching with Stevenson and New Trier. They will be working out at the Gymnastics Zone in Antioch and will have all of their meets on the road this season. "We're still learning about all the gymnasts -- their skills, personality, gymnastics type, etc.," Campese said. "We're building our team from scratch and want to develop a family and a good experience for these gymnasts and give them a chance to either learn a new sport or continue doing what they love. Our goals are to be competitive and fill our JV and varsity teams. With being a beginner team, we just want to compete and grow our program and give these girls an opportunity to compete and be a part of a team."
CarmelCoach: Sarah Mikrut Doyle (12th year, 17th year in program)
Graduated: Madison Graff (TCU), Colleen Kadowaki (St. Louis), Alyssa Legarreta (Dayton), Sammi Lococo (Wisconsin), Anna Osowski.
Top returning gymnasts: Senior Kelly Gustafson, junior Audrey Legarreta, sophomore Izzy Kropiwiec
Newcomers: Freshmen Lyndsey Basara, Kyla Rapplean.
Outlook: Sarah Mikrut Doyle had been the assistant to Nicole Stroup for the previous five years; this year it's Mikrut Doyle in the lead, as Stroup had a baby girl in March. Former gymnast Lauren Bowles will also be an assistant this year. The Corsairs lost a tremendously talented group to graduation last year, the core of which helped them finish third and fourth place in state the last two years. "Our team will be small this year," Mikrut Doyle said. "Each of them will competing all-around. Their skill level is impressive and their amazing attitudes and dedicated work ethic is infectious. To be successful this season, we have to stay healthy and pace ourselves so we are where we want to be come state series time. There are so many talented teams out there. Our goal has always been and continues to be getting our school to state each and every year, and this year is no exception. This team is undoubtedly ready to do what it takes to put our team in a positon to reach our goals."
NORTH SUBURBANLake ZurichCoach: Chelsie Seplowin (first year)
Newcomers: Senior Emily McGuckin; sophomores Teagon Jones, Julia McDevitt, Krista Wohler, Joanna Yopa; freshman Elizabeth Root.
Outlook: Lake Zurich is back with its first girls gymnastics team in 18 years. Chelsie Seplowin will coach the team; she has extensive experience as a state gymnast at Stevenson, and at Illinois State for all four years in college. Seplowin coached at Highland Park last year and was recently married to Andrew Grotelueschen. Emily McGuckin competed as an individual in her freshman and sophomore years for the Bears, but she was mending an ACL injury last winter and will lead the new team as a senior. Teagon Jones also was an individual that competed last year. Lake Zurich opened its season last week and scored 128. "We're excited with the gymnastics program this year," Seplowin said. "The team has a very solid core of girls, and the team is very young, mostly freshmen and sophomores. We will see how far the team can go. But we should have a promising outlook to be competitive this year. The girls have great team chemistry already, and I'm confident they will display that throughout the year."
LibertyvilleCoach: Tiffany Owens (ninth year)
Graduated: Ima Wasemann
Top returning gymnasts: Seniors Emily Agemura, Claire Neuberger; junior Kylie Skie
Newcomers: Sophomore Maddy Swanson
Outlook: Libertyville has some experienced gymnasts back and could contend in the North Suburban Conference and make a run in the state series. Seniors Emily Agemura and Claire Neuberger along with junior Kylie Skie will be the ones to watch this season. Jim Geske has joined on as assistant coach. "We have a lot of a lot of talent this year," Libertyville head coach Tiffany Owens said. "We will be working on honing all their skills to maximize starting scores. We have the potential to be very competitive in our conference this year. Our team goal is to advance beyond regionals as a team and hopefully have multiple state qualifiers this year."
Mundelein Coach: Jesse Piland (first year)
Graduated: Taylor Shanahan
Top returning gymnasts: Senior Maggie Franz; juniors Katie Miller, Audrey Rehm; sophomores Audrey Kafka, Sydney Naddy.
Newcomers: Sophomores Kameron Huster, Amanda Muench; freshmen Emma Hallin, Elie Mishler.
Outlook: Jesse Piland takes over for Jamie Brongiel, who is taking the season off on maternity leave. Over the last few years, Mundelein has chalked up some pretty good successes in girls gymnastics, and the expectations for the coming season are in keeping with that. The Mustangs are much younger that in recent seasons, with only one senior, Maggie Franz. But there are some younger gymnasts ready to take the next step. "The team should be strong," Piland said. "In gymnastics, it matters how talented you are -- but it also matters how talented the other teams are. We will have to see where we stack up when the scores start coming in. We're very excited to work with the girl in our gym."
Stevenson Coach: Judy Harwood (25th year)
Graduated: Natalie Schulman
Top returning gymnasts: Juniors Johanna Geick, Zoe Hinz, Sophie Whiting; sophomores Riley Polatsek, Emily Weinstein.
Newcomers: Hannah Brand, Ainslee Cutler, Jessica Maher Sarina Johnson.
Other returning gymnasts: Kaylee Brady, Katelyn Chung, Mya Medjes, Marisa Osowski, Hannah Severyns, Rachel Severyns.
Outlook: Stevenson figures to be on the rise this season, with several experienced gymnasts back from last year. Expectations going into the season are much higher, and the Patriots could become one of the surprising teams in the area. "I expect great improvement over last year," Stevenson coach Judy Harwood said. "We've been working hard. The coaches and the girls are starting off the year on a much-improved note. We expect to compete for the NSC title this year. Our goal is to qualify as a team for the sectionals."
WarrenCoach: Mary Kovec (sixth year)
Top returning gymnasts: Seniors Carly Baun, Teagon Albert, Dana Hutter
Newcomers: Sophomore Abigail Blasko, freshman Kayleigh Glickley.
Outlook: Mary Kovec returns to coaching for the Blue Devils after having an addition to the family last year. Warren also has Teagon Albert returning from a fractured back, which sidelined her last year. She will be limited to two events and will concentrate on beam and floor exercise. Baun is another returning senior; she just finished 10th in the state in diving last month should be a great addition with experience from previous years. 'We're looking forward to have a strong year," Kovec said. "Our main goal is to progressively improve our skills and team score throughout the season. They have been working hard and we're excited to kick the season off."
CENTRAL SUBURBAN NORTHVernon Hills Coach: Alison Gildemeister (fifth year)
Graduated: Ally Landis
Top returning gymnasts: Seniors Abbie Heinz, Lexie Kolb; sophomores Caitlin Kolb, Avery Longdon.
Newcomers: Mia Mihalic, Dylan Sides.
Outlook: Vernon Hills has taken its program to a more competitive level recently and would like to raise the bar even higher this year. The Cougars would like to be in contention for the Central Suburban North title. They reached a score of 130 last year and hope to see that number rise this winter. Returning seniors Abbie Heinz and Lexie Kolb give the program a terrific starting point in that endeavor. "Our goal is to keep building," Vernon Hills coach Alison Gildemeister said. "We had a successful season last year and improved greatly as the season went on."