Hendricks Gymnasts Compete on the Farm - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Hendricks Gymnasts Compete on the Farm

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  Hendricks, MN- Tthings are quiet on the Gary and Sherri Johnson farm, about a mile north of Hendricks Minnesota. Until you go inside.

"I just have a passion for gymnastics.  It enables you to be good at anything." says gymnastics coach Sherri Johnson.

   Sherri Johnson was a gymnast.  The Huron South Dakota native also coached for a number of years, ten of those in Mitchell.  She had been driving her three daughters to compete in club gymnastics in Brookings three days a week.

"I though maybe if we could do one day over there, and get something going here, and do the rest here, and I'd coach them.  You know because you spend so much time in the car and we are busy with other things." says Johnson.

  So last springm she decided to start a gynmastics team at Hendricks High School.  But to even take it a step further, build a gymastics facility on their farm.  It went up in the fall, and the Johnsons did it all on their own.

  "I had some used equipment from my time as a coach at Mitchell that I kept  Then Gary and I got the rest.  The vault, the bars, and floor." says Sherri. 

" It started as a machine shed, but then she just took it over with all of her stuff. The community and school have really embraced it." says Sherri's husband Gary.

  It was the johnson's dream to host a home meet. Just recently on January 25th, Sioux Falls Roosevelt came up for a dual.

 "I couldn't wait to see their reaction.  Ii think they thought we were going to be in some freezing barn, they were pleasantly surprised." says Johnson.

 "These bleachers were full,  chairs around the mats we're full.  And the VIP area that you have to climb a ladder to get too was full." says Hendricks resident Steve Hemmingsen.

  And the team of eight gymnasts has competed well.  They lost by two points to Roosevelt that night.  They've also held their own against South Dakota powers  Madison and Deuel.

"These girls, they have some club experience, so they're not going completely from scratch. They have some background." says Johnson.

 But more importantly, they have a home.

"It's great, we can come here and practice anytime and on weekends and not have to worry about interfering with another team." says gymnast Hailey Teske.

 Like many small rural communities, they fight to keep going. The gymnastics team with this beautiful new facility, is a good step into the future.

"Obviously I hope our gymnastics program grows.  And I hope in twenty years when my kids are grown, someone else will be ready to take it over and run it." says Johnson.

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