After suffering a season-ending left ACL tear last winter, Hand gymnastics junior co-captain Becca Anderson returned to earn both All-State and All-SCC Team honors while additionally help the Tigers claim a seventh straight conference crown and third consecutive Class M state title. (Photo courtesy of Becca Anderson
Anderson's an All-State Gymnast After Bouncing Back from Torn ACL
Published March 04, 2015. Last updated 02:13 p.m., March 04, 2015
Ahuge part of Becca Anderson's life has revolved around gymnastics and it's that love for the sport which aided her along an arduous road toward stunning results.
The Hand junior co-captain tore her left ACL last winter during the end of a practice session, immediately ending her campaign. But Becca battled her way back to health and helped the Tigers have another exceptional year in which they went undefeated for the regular season, won a seventh straight SCC crown, and a third consecutive state title. For her contributions to Hand's prosperity, Becca made the All-SCC and All-State teams.
"It meant so much to come back from the injury and be a part of the team this year. Gymnastics is basically my life so to not be able to help them compete last year and just watch was hard, although it made me appreciate the sport even more," says Becca, who began gymnastics as toddler, has coached pre-K to 12-year-olds since she was 14, and is learning how to become a judge in the sport. "It was amazing to be able to help my friends and be a part of the team again. To be able to come back as fast as I did and hit so many of my goals was great."
The ACL tear occurred in practice when Becca was tumbling during a routine and, when she saw it, she knew her sophomore season was finished. Still, Becca's ever-present passion for gymnastics carried her through the grueling recovery process.
"I was tumbling and trying to do an Arabian, but I opened up too early and hyperextended my knee and knew my season was done," Becca says. "I had to wait one month after the injury for surgery and then two weeks after surgery to start rehab. I did physical therapy three times a week, but the therapists trying to bend my knee to see how it would go was really painful. I still went to practices and meets to support the team, yet I knew that gymnastics is my entire life, and to have that injury be the last thing I ever did with it, I couldn't let that happen."
Head Coach Kelly Smith says that Becca's contributions to her team during the hiatus earned her a captain's chair and it's been much of the same for Becca as an active competitor again this year.
"There is nothing more difficult than watching your team and knowing you can't participate, yet Becca was incredibly positive the entire season. She is such a team player. It was like having a third coach in the gym because she was always there, always helping her teammates. It was clear to the coaches that she is a leader, but it was also clear to her teammates when she was voted captain as just a junior," says Smith. "We knew, without a doubt, that she had been working hard in the offseason to get all of her skills back and even make improvements from freshman year. Sure enough, she came back just as strong, if not stronger, and was a solid competitor for us all season long. She is the epitome of a leader in the gym. Her teammates are motivated by her work ethic. She's vocal about keeping everyone on task in the gym. She assists her teammates with pointers during practice. She is irreplaceable right now and it's been such a pleasure to work with her the last three years. I'm so incredibly proud of her accomplishments this season. No one is more deserving of All-SCC and All State than she is."
Being appointed a captain by her beloved teammates is truly satisfying to Becca, who is ready to help her Tigers continue an already impressive postseason ride all the way through the State Open and, hopefully, the New England Championship.
"I respect everyone on this team so much and it was a big honor to be voted a captain. I love my [senior] co-captain Lauren LaChapelle and it's fun to give the team pep talks," says Becca, who thanks her entire family, all of her ABC Shoreline Gymnastics coaches for the past eight years, along with her Hand coaches. "We are working really hard to win and our goals are to come home with no regrets and to also make both the State Open and New England Championship. It would be amazing to do those and we want to end the year on a high note."