GREEN BAY — It’s a tale as old as time when it comes to sports. An underdog program becoming top dog with new leadership.
NBC 26 caught up with Starz Gymnastics Academy team to see how they achieved a historic season.
“It’s not about winning,” said head coach Kendra Lamphier. “It's not about first place, it’s about coming in every single day going to every single station and every single rotation trying to find a way to make yourself better.”
The Starz gymnastics team is coming off a season where they went undefeated at every level. Capped off by sweeping the state championships and they had nine girls achieve first place in the all-around.
“I was proud of myself,” said gymnast Stella Burnoski.
“We had a feeling we were going to have a good season headed into it, but we had no expectation of how well they actually did as far as being undefeated,” said Lamphier. “We were able to pull it off and we were pretty excited about it.”
The program, which has year-round gymnastics programs for all ages, wasn’t always competing at this high of a level. A few seasons ago, Kendra Lamphier and her boyfriend Kevin Anderson took over the program and built it from the ground up.
“After the first year of laying the groundwork, the second year we really came and showed through the competitive season that what we’re doing here is working,” said Lamphier. “We’re pretty excited and we feel like we’ve done great this year, but it really is just the start and we have so much more we can do.”
And for the coaches, turning the program around has meant a lot.
“It means the world, my mission is to show people that you can have a really positive and uplifting environment and that environment can grow champions,” Lamphier said.
Lamphier said it’s not about winning, but the athletes' confidence.
“You’re going to come across a skill that scares you, you’re going to come across a drill that makes you nervous or something that is physically out of your range as far as strength goes and you’re going to have to learn how to overcome that,” she said. “Being able to take things that are hard and learn that build confidence and that you can handle things that are difficult is a really big thing for these girls, not just for gymnastics, but for college and in their careers in the future.”
It’s also about making her athletes good people on and off the floor. This year, her team won two sportsmanship awards.
“First place titles are fantastic, that’s a good thing, but something we celebrate even more are the sportsmanship recognitions that we got,” Lamphier said. Those mean a lot to us.
And their success also comes from being good teammates. There’s nothing more that these girls want to see than their teammates take first place.
“We all give each other good vibes and we never bring each other down. We always tell each other good job and all that good stuff,” said Gymnast Aubree Dahlke.