Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Board Raising the Bar as a Freshman


Holly Board is seeing instant success as a freshman member of the Valley Regional girls’ gymnastics team this winter. Photo courtesy of Holly Board

Holly Board is seeing instant success as a freshman member of the Valley Regional girls’ gymnastics team this winter. (Photo courtesy of Holly Board)

When Holly Board was a young child, her mother Susan knew that she was destined to become gymnast. Susan’s vision came to fruition as Holly has been competing in the sport for several years and is in the midst of her freshman season with the Valley Regional girls’ gymnastics team.

As a toddler, Holly would attend her sister Audrey’s gymnastics meets and scream, “I want to do ‘nastics!” from the sidelines. Shortly thereafter, Holly started participating in gymnastics and quickly developed a love for it, leading her on a path to join the Valley gymnastics squad.

“I started when I was three years old, immediately after my third birthday. My older sister was taking gymnastics classes, and I vividly remember yelling from the sidelines that I wanted to do gymnastics with her,” says Holly. “When I started, gymnastics seemed like a big obstacle course with tunnels and the foam pit. I wanted to jump on everything.”

Holly is enjoying the experience of competing for Valley gymnastics as a freshman and has dedicated herself to the sport. Holly practices four days a week and is learning plenty of new skills in her first year with the Warriors.

“My favorite aspect of high school gymnastics is practicing and seeing my coaches and teammates at practice and meets,” Holly says. “My favorite event is bars. During the quarantine, we were doing gymnastics on Zoom, and I couldn’t work on bars at all, so I used my time wisely once we returned to the gym. I’ve loved bars ever since.”

Head Coach Monica Bauer describes Holly as a tremendous asset to the Valley gymnastics program. Coach Bauer views Holly, who also competes at the Xcel level, as a conscientious gymnast who has plenty of potential as she moves forward in her career.

“Holly has really stepped up her skills during the high school season. She has upgraded her bars and floor skills,” says Bauer. “I really enjoy coaching Holly.

“One of the things I love most about Holly is she is always eager to make corrections. She asks questions and looks to get better. She is easy and enjoyable to coach,” she adds. “She is also always thankful. She always says thank you at the end of the practice.”

Holly appreciates how Coach Bauer has given her an opportunity to compete at the varsity level as a freshman. Holly’s also thankful for the support of Carl Cavrell, the team’s assistant coach.

“Coach Monica is an amazing coach. It’s been great to have the opportunity to work with her for the Valley team, and she’s helped me learn a lot of new skills,” Holly says. “Coach Carl has been my coach since I was younger, so it’s been a lot of fun to work with him for high school.”

Holly doesn’t view gymnastics from the vantage point of how talented an athlete is. Holly believes that success in gymnastics is more about how you deal with your mistakes and strive to get better.

“I fell off the beam pretty badly at one of my meets and got hurt, which caused me to be scared to do that specific skill,” says Holly. “Yet a week later I decided to go for the skill anyway, and I ended up sticking the routine and not falling off the beam, which I am proud of myself for.”

Holly is looking forward to three more seasons of competing for the Valley gymnastics team. With a solid freshman year under her belt, Holly wants to continue notching higher scores as her Warriors’ career unfolds.

“Since I’m an Xcel gymnast, I wasn’t used to the scoring for high school, which is based on a Level 9 gymnast, essentially a college-level scoring. Since I am not at that level yet, my skill requirements are, lower, which automatically gives me a lower score,” Holly says. “I was really proud of myself to earn 8s on some events when I actually thought I’d be earning 5s or 6s.”

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