Gymnastics team tumbles into the 2021 season with a new coach


Photo by Gissel Inamagua

Coach Amy Caldwell, although new to the district, has been getting girls from both St. Anthony Village High School and Columbia Heights High School into shape for their meets.

Real athletes don’t wear pants; they wear leotards. Sports like football and volleyball and basketball are often at the forefront of high school sports while gymnastics, the difficult sport that combines tumbling and dance with stellar agility, is often in the shadows. With a new Columbia Heights High School gymnastics coach for the school year, the team now has the potential to cartwheel into the spotlight.

Columbia Heights High School’s gymnastics season is well underway, and this time with a new coach and set of teammates. This year, they are grouped with St. Anthony Village Senior High School and Spring Lake Park High School. This gives the Hylanders an opportunity to have a consistent schedule for practice and competitions. The team will go under the St. Anthony Village Senior High School name, so no rivalry this time around. This time, it’s okay to say, “ Go Huskies!”

New head coach Amy Caldwell has been coaching gymnastics for 12 years. 

“I coach gymnastics because I love the sport and don’t want it to be over,” Caldwell said. “I also coach to inspire the girls/athletes.” 

Caldwell likes that the team is unique, cooperative and that they collaborate with other schools to reach the same goal “to work as one team.”  Caldwell hopes for this to be a season where the girls develop sisterhood and friendship. 

“I like that she cares about the girls’ lives outside the gym,” Sofia Flaiani (11) said, who has been on the team for five years.

Flaiani also likes how Coach Caldwell cares about the gymnasts’ futures and wants them to succeed physically and mentally. 

“My favorite thing about my coach is that she pushes each and every one of us to be the best athlete, student, teammate and person possible,”  Tuscany Ballot (11) said. 

Ballot has been on the gymnastics team for five years. If she could change anything about Coach Caldwell, she said she wouldn’t change anything.

As winter sports roll back into motion, the gymnastics team is practicing at St. Anthony Village High School’s gymnasium. Before then, they had virtual meetings until the Minnesota State High School League allowed them to practice in person. This is a big opportunity for Coach Caldwell, and she is very confident that this is going to be a great season.