BBW becomes BUW, much to coach’s delight

Union Grove’s Carly Schaefer is one of three returners to the Demons this season. (Rick Benavides/SLN)

 

By Mike Ramczyk

sports@southernlakesnewspapers.com

High school sports cooperatives can get tricky when it comes to acronyms.

But the local gymnastics has taken it to another level, as the BBW (Burlington-Badger-Wilmot) has built a solid name for itself over the years.

The elephant in the room is what BBW really stands for, “Big Beautiful Women,” you know, like in the personal ads in newspapers or online for people seeking a mate.

So while catchy and recognizable, BBW garners a downright belly laugh from the average person when they learn it describes a gymnastics team.

After years of success including four consecutive state runner-up finishes under the guidance of coach Diane Biedrzycki, BBW is no more.

And current head coach Andrea Chart, now in her third year, doesn’t miss the name.

“I’m glad we don’t have to hear those jokes,” Chart ribbed Tuesday.

The truth is that Union Grove is finally getting its due recognition, as the team will be called the BUW gymnastics squad moving forward, where “B” stands for Burlington and Badger, “U” for Union Grove and “W” for Wilmot and Williams Bay.

The squad spans three counties, the Bay is a good 30 miles from the Grove and a new name coincides with a considerable change in talent.

 

A new “Big 3?”

Six seniors are gone, five of which competed on varsity, but that doesn’t mean Chart isn’t hoping for a ninth consecutive Southern Lakes Conference championship.

“Our strengths will be in our experience and leadership,” she said. “All three of our juniors have varsity experience, and our newcomers are coming from club gymnastics, where they have spent several years competing at a high level.”

While SLC gymnast of the year Hailey Siegler has graduated, along with Mia Trent, Allie Miller, Kenzie Terry and Brooke Flesch, Mia’s sister Mari, Carly Schaefer and Jessica Zeitler are back to lead the Demons this season.

Junior Mari Trent, a three-year varsity performer, comes from Lake Geneva Badger and was second in vault and floor at last year’s conference meet.

Schaefer, a co-captain, is a junior at Union Grove, and Wilmot junior Zeitler was fourth on floor at conference last season.

Chart, who is a new teacher at New Berlin Eisenhower, also welcomes three new faces, Lake Geneva Badger freshmen Regan Cassidy and Ava Trent, along with Williams Bay sophomore Malia Bronson.

“They’re very, very, very good,” Chart said of the new trio. “If at least one doesn’t make state, all three easily could, either someone got hurt or just bombed at sectionals.”

While there has yet to be a meet, Cassidy, Ava Trent and Bronson conjure up memories of the three-headed force that was Bailey Fitzpatrick, Molly Benavides and Jenna Fitzpatrick, a threesome that came within a point of a WIAA Division 1 state team title back in 2013.

The Fitzpatricks and Benavides combined for a plethora of individual state titles.

 

Back to state

After dominating the decade with state appearances, BUW was completely shut out last season, taking fifth at sectionals while only the top two teams advanced.

Chart says a return to Wisconsin Rapids is possible, but a high level of dedication is required.

“Overall we have a big goal to represent at state both individually and as a team,” Chart said. “The girls understand to accomplish that, it’s going to take dedication throughout the entire season and a continuous effort to make the little improvements so come sectionals we are as close to perfection as we can be.”

Chart added a goal is to go undefeated in dual meets and win the SLC again.

Assistant coach Jordin Miller is new to the squad this season.

A new special education teacher at Burlington High School, Miller competed at Westosha Central High School before becoming a cheerleader at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Home meets will be held at Karcher Middle School in Burlington.

 

Schedule

(HOME MEETS IN CAPS)

December – 5: BROOKFIELD COMBINED. 14: MUKWONAGO/KETTLE MORAINE. 16: Frosty Invitational, Altius Gymnastics Academy, Franklin. January – 3: at Whitewater. 6: Emerald Invite at Waterford. 8: at Elkhorn. 13: at Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall. 27: Spartan Invite at Madison Memorial. 30: WATERFORD. February – 1: at Oconomowoc/Waukesha. 3: Kenosha Invite at Kenosha Tremper High School. 8: JEFFERSON (Parent/Senior Night). 10: Nordy Invite at Mukwonago. 16: SLC meet at Waterford.

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