Hoovers are back together in gymnastics

When Sabrina Hoover captured three state all-around gymnastics championships (2009-10-11) with Elk River-Rogers-Zimmerman team, her mother Shannon was always part of it as an assistant coach to Jenn Bartlett.

Well, the Hoover girls are on the same team again. Shannon has been Maple Grove’s head coach for three years and this year Sabrina joined her as an assistant. bruce_sidelinesThey brought the Crimson to ERHS on Dec. 5, losing to the Elks 134.7 to 130.2.

Sabrina (top) and Shannon Hoover are shown while coaching Maple Grove in a meet at Elk River in December. (Photo by Bruce Strand)
Sabrina (top) and Shannon Hoover are shown while coaching Maple Grove in a meet at Elk River in December. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

“It was my idea to have Sabrina help with the Crimson this year,” said Shannon. “It has been so fun to see her on the other side of the sport … Sabrina adds a different dynamic to the coaching staff. She is a great coach and definitely pushes the girls to be the best they can be.”

Sabina, a newlywed, had a strong freshman year at Winona State, qualifying for nationals on beam. But she was feeling burnt out her sophomore year, and decided to retire after the season, her mother said.

“I of course was sad because I just love watching her compete, especially floor and beam,” said Shannon. “However I understand too, that there is an end to competing in this sport. She had a phenomenal carer.”

It wasn’t due to injury. Sabrina never had a break or sprain in 15 year of club, prep and college gymnastics. “She was very lucky,” her mother said.

Sabrina transferred to the University of Minnesota, where she is studying to be an art director, although she’s not currently in school. She got married on Dec. 21 to Gunnar Dancer, a U of M graduate with a strong sports background himself in Nordic Ski and cross country.

Excited for Hockey Day
Anoka hockey coach Pete Hayes said his girls are “super excited” for the chance to play in Hockey Day Minnesota next Saturday against the Elks at Handke Pit.

“It’s just like the state tournament, being on TV and all the hoopla that goes with it.”

The Elks (8-5-3) lost to Anoka 2-1 in overtime there Nov. 12. The Tornadoes are just 6-9-1 but have won four of their last five.

About the invitation, Hayes said, “I think we were invited because we are a long-time rival with a storied history of big games (with the Elks).”

The Stillwater Ponies, who’ll face the Elk boys, have a 7-5 record as of Tuesday, with a hot shooter in John Heddie (11 goals) and a defenseman signed by Michigan Tech, Mitch Reinke. Their first year head coach, Matt Doman, was an assistant captain for the Wisconsin Badgers.