HEHS gymnasts’ trip to State Series creates confidence for entire team


Mikala Janicki, Staff Writer

The state series for Hoffman Estates High School girls gymnastics was not necessarily about the destination but the journey and impact it has had on the team.

“Everyone started the season concerned about how they could do their part, which is a great concern to have,” said David Calisch, head coach. “But by the end of the season, they were spending more time helping each other be better. To me, that’s inspiring, and that’s what being a team is really about.”

Calisch has been coaching both girls and boys gymnastics for nearly forty years. Although it can be exhausting and he must make many sacrifices to have the time, he feels as though something would be missing from his life if he were to ever stop.

This season, two very impressive freshman, Elyssa Wuerffel and Sol Serratos qualified for regionals, sectionals, and even for the state competition. At state, Wuerffel competed on the floor, beam, vault, and in the all-around. Serratos competed on the beam.

“This season has taught me to have confidence in myself and have fun, through the support of my teammates and coaches,” said Wuerffel. “Hoffman gymnastics has showed me what it’s like to be a part of a real team, and I always look forward to it.”

Wuerffel, a gymnast of eleven years, was named one of the 2019 Illinois High School Gymnastics Rookies of the Year. She plans to use her resilient attitude and hard work during the offseason to hopefully make it to state again next season.

Serratos, a gymnast of twelve years, has struggled with several injuries throughout her career, including a stress fracture on her back, causing her to miss one year of practice, and chronic knee pain. Despite her setbacks, Serratos is dedicated to her team and the sport and has always done everything she can to make a safe, but quick recovery.

“Gymnastics takes hard work, patience, and commitment,” said Serratos. “It’s constantly teaching me that no matter what I go through, I can get past it, in every aspect of my life.”

She plans to focus and improve on her weakest spots and the events she’s not the best on to help her qualify for state again next season.

Charlee Campos, a junior and another HEHS varsity gymnast, qualified for floor at the sectionals competition. Although she didn’t qualify for the state meet, her favorite memory from this season was having the opportunity to go with Wuerffel and Serratos to support them.

“Nothing comes easy,” said Campos. “Gymnastics has taught me that you need to push yourself, focus, and work hard in order to make yourself better.”

Campos plans to never give up and continue working hard during the off season to be confident in her abilities as she approaches her final season of high school gymnastics.

Christian Yabes, a senior and a manager for the team, is consistently the first person in the gym before practice and last one to leave after. He works very hard to help wherever and whenever he is needed, whether it’s cleaning up, recording routines, inputting scores, or anything else they may need.

“Managing girls gymnastics really taught me what it’s like to be part of a team and how everyone’s individual role is important,” said Yabes. “Even though, Sol and Elyssa were the only ones who made it to state, the entire varsity team was there practicing with them everyday to support and show them that they weren’t alone. That’s a true team.”