The Mizzou Gymnastics squad is in full swing with weekly practices, as they prepare for the upcoming 2013-14 season in Columbia, Mo. The Tigers will host Lindenwood University with a December 8th exhibition at the Hearnes Center, before kicking off the regular season at Alabama on January 10th.
With two inter-squad practices in the books for Mizzou, team captains Rebecca Johnson (Pewaukee, Wis.) and Katelyn Trevino (Ovilla, Texas) look to lead the team's off-season preparation.
As a senior, Trevino reflected on her time within the gymnastics program up to this point and what it personally means to her.
"To be named a captain was a huge honor, and a surprise to be honest," said Trevino. "My collegiate career in Columbia as a Mizzou gymnast has been an adventure so far, to say the least. I don't think anyone would have predicted that I would have become a team captain, including myself."
"It's such a rewarding feeling knowing that my coaches and teammates support me, and have confidence in me to help accomplish all the goals we set for this season."
While she's only a junior, Johnson also recognizes the meaning of being named a team captain by her teammates and coaching staff.
"Plain and simple, it's an absolute honor to help lead this amazing group of girls this season," said Johnson. "Being a captain is never really something I could have ever imagined, but I've learned a lot in the last two years both as a gymnast and in becoming a team leader."
While being named a team captain for any sports team may appear as all glitz and glamour, the day-to-day responsibilities for these individuals often go un-noticed. For both Trevino and Johnson, long hours at practice and in the classroom will lead to many challenges for the upcoming season.
Arguably above anything else, the captains will both be looked upon for their leadership and positive attitude every day at the Tiger Performance Complex.
"I would say that our main role as captains is to lead by example," said Johnson. "There is nothing more powerful than living in a way that other want to model after."
This year, Head Coach Shannon Welker welcomes five freshman to the Tigers roster. With a brand new coaching staff, Trevino knows the importance of helping them in transitioning the new girls from their old high school atmosphere to the new expectations surrounding a gymnastics college program.
"I always want to try to help the freshman out, since I know what it's like to feel lost and a little overwhelmed with a whole new world in collegiate gymnastics," said Trevino. "I want each of them to feel comfortable in asking me for help whenever they're struggling or if they need any kind of guidance."
"All in all, I'm here to help them have a freshman year at Mizzou that is unforgettable in a positive way."
The 2013-14 season will mark the second year in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) for the Tigers, and the girls look to improve on their performance from last season. For Johnson, the excitement and anticipation of redeeming themselves as a team serves as motivation this year.
"We did not, by any means, have the year we wanted last year," said Johnson. "For me personally, since I was injured all of last season, I'm looking forward to contributing to this incredible program and getting out on the competition floor again."
"We are all hungry to show the SEC that we can compete every time out, and succeed in this incredibly talented conference."
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