by Beau Wicker
Many area sports fans know Logansport has one of the top girls basketball teams in the state.
Some of those fans might not know the Berries were also expected to have a very strong gymnastics team this winter.
But like the girls basketball team, the gymnastics team has been hit by a key member of the team suffering a serious knee injury.
Logan senior Morgan Kline, who finished sixth on beam and 15th on vault at the state finals as a sophomore, blew out her left knee while practicing on Nov. 7 and had surgery shortly afterwards.
“I tore my ACL, LCL, MCL and both meniscuses,” Kline said. “I was doing a leap that I’ve been doing since I was 8 years old, and my ankle twisted and my knee just went from there. It was a twisting jump which made it all that much more worse.
“There was a really loud pop, and my first initial thought was I’m done for the season and it’s my senior year. And that made it all that much more worse emotion-wise. But the doctor told me I definitely would be out the rest of the season, but his goal was to put me up on bars one time. Whether it was for score or not for score, just so I could compete my senior year.”
Kline said her doctor told her she’d be out 3-6 months, which runs into the IHSAA Tournament in March, but Kline thinks she can at least compete on bars by then with a brace on her knee.
“Bars doesn’t really put any pressure on my legs, so there’s still hope for that,” she said.
Kline was one of three high Level 9 gymnasts the Berries were going to feature this year, the other two being a pair of freshmen, Kelley Platt and Emily Pomasl.
“I still have high hopes for the team because they have two really good incoming freshmen and a couple other good gymnasts. They have well over enough girls for events,” Kline said. “If they can stay healthy they can still have stately aspirations for sure.”
The Berries are seeking their first-ever trip to the state finals as a team. Two years ago they had a great chance before Madison Baldini blew her knee out and missed the tournament her senior year.
Logan coach Dannan Mordenti is expecting a good season despite Kline’s injury.
“I think we’ll be successful. We have a couple good freshmen coming up and a lot of depth,” she said.
Other members of the team include senior Kaleigh Wilkinson, junior Jess Brazzle, sophomores Maddy Rosenberger, Ashlyn Brown and Shelby Adams and freshmen Liz Nies, Lindsey Biggs and Hanna Brandt.
The Berries competed at the LaPorte Pairs Meet to open the season last weekend in what Mordenti said was a “fun meet.” The next event is the Northwestern Invite on Jan. 19.
Kline said she was doing the best gymnastics of her life before her injury. She had battled shoulder injuries earlier in her career but was completely healed from those.
“I worked. We did four days a week over in Kokomo and I came here and conditioned, which made it six days a week for awhile. I worked the whole summer. Since the last high school meet I’ve been in Kokomo training and training and training,” she said. “But I think that will help my recovery being more in shape now.
“There’s definitely still a good chance for the team. ... They’re pretty strong still, even losing me. I’m just going to work really hard and come back for that bar routine because I’m going to do it.”