Terps Begin Practice for 2011-12 Season
Oct. 20, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland acrobatics & tumbling team began its full-team practices this week in preparation for the 2011-12 season and new head coach Laura Chiriaco couldn't be more pleased with the student-athletes' hard work put in over the summer.
The Terrapins, who 8-0 in last year's NCATA regular season, used individual and small group workouts and practices to stay in shape and improve themselves in the off-season.
"I am so proud of how much our team has already been able to accomplish during preseason workouts," Chiriaco said. "We used that time to it's fullest potential, perfecting our basics and building a strong foundation that will allow us to hit the ground running in our first full team practices."
This week, the Terps' coaching staff could start preparing the team for actual competitions. They began tinkering with lineups, stunt groups and tumbling passes.
"During our first week of full team practices, the team has already far surpassed the high expectations I set for them," Chiriaco said. "I find myself constantly having to go back to my plans to increase difficulty as the team continues to perform as if they have been working together for years."
Last week, the Terrapins voted on their captains for the upcoming season. Many members of the squad ran for one of the leadership roles.
"I was absolutely thrilled to see so many athletes who wanted to run for captain this year. I think it it such a testament to how much pride and passion our athletes feel for this team," Chiriaco said.
"I'm thrilled with the captains chosen by the team. Erin is starting her fifth season with us after having to redshirt last year from a knee injury. Her experience makes her an excellent leader, and an inspiration to other teammates recovering from injury," Chiriaco said.
"Karissa is an extremely positive presence on this team. Her love for her teammates is so obvious in everything she does. I am also excited to have a junior captain this year. Jordan has been a strong competitor for us, and her determination and work ethic enables her to lead by example as well as vocally."
Because so many members of the team were interested in and qualified for leadership roles, the coaching staff developed a leadership council. Each class chose a representative for the council. The freshman rep is Brittany Burkhard, sophomore leader is Heather Bowers, junior is Casey Lynch and All-American Lauren Shannon will represent the seniors.
"I am excited to implement this new council, I believe it will improve communication and trust between coaches and athletes," Chiriaco said. "We have many leaders on this team, with and without leadership titles. I am so proud of our veterans, who have been excellent mentors to our incoming freshmen so far this season."