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'I was scared to death'

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Morristown's Greenley Goedde on her first day of high school.
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Morristown's Greenley Goedde is off to a hot start in her varsity gymnastics career. Goedde and area gymnasts have been preparing for sectional action, which begins Saturday in Connersville.

By PATRICK MURPHY - For The Shelbyville News

Greenley Goedde remembers being dropped off on the first day of public high school at Morristown. Her mom, Sara Goedde, was taking the “obligatory” first day of school photo. A frightened and “scared to death” Goedde, who is a junior, can be seen smiling in a yellow dress, embarrassed by her mom taking her photo.

Sara Goedde remembers the night before as she wrote her daughter a note. It read: “Go do your best. Do what you know. Be the person we have raised you to be.”

Goedde and her two other sisters had been home schooled by her mother for 12 years. The quickness of growth in her daugthers led to the decision to homeschool them. 

“Also, I wanted to use a Christian curriculum. I wanted them to be able to have bible classes and such, which they wouldn’t get at MHS,” Sara Goedde said. “That’s why we decided to keep them at home. That’s the type of curriculum we wanted to offer them. That was the original decision.”

Once her mother drove away on the first day of school, Goedde quietly walked into MHS. The school took her breath away. Goedde said even though the school only had 348 students, it was still huge for her.

“I really didn’t have anybody talking to me, besides one person,” Goedde said. “It was really weird, because I had never been to a public school before. I’m used to a class of three, me and my two sisters. I walked into MHS and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. This is crazy.’”

With school sorted out, there was just one more aspect to consider: Goedde wanted to be part of a high school gymnastics team.

Sara Goedde sent a message to the Indiana High School Athletics Association. The IHSAA returned her message saying, “Oh sure, she can do that as a homeschooler.” The IHSAA only requires homeschoolers to take one class at their high school. After that was sorted out, Sara Goedde reached out to MHS.

“At first, I wasn’t sure how welcoming they would be. There hasn’t been any homeschoolers here before,” Sara Goedde said. “(Morristown) added a few more rules on top of what the IHSAA wanted. They said they wanted her to take three classes. ”

Now, Goedde takes five classes at home in the morning and three at MHS in the afternoon.

Ever since the beginning of the gymnastics season, Goedde has been a part of the three-girl team at MHS. At the beginning of the summer, Goedde was nervous. She was scared. She had never done a high school sport before.

“I have always done very strict club gymnastics,” Greenley said. “This was a lot different. It was more laid back and more fun for me.”

Before practicing with MHS in the summer, Goedde was part of club gymnastics for seven years. During that time span, Goedde was part of two different clubs. One taught by Christie Wyman and the other by Teresa Holden. Goedde said both of these coaches played a major impact in sparking her enthusiasm for the sport. What she likes about gymnastics is that she competes in four different events instead of just one.

“You’re not just doing one thing all the time,” Greenley said. “That’s probably my favorite part about it. You don’t get bored.”

This season for the Yellow Jackets, Goedde has been leading the team in scoring. She also has two first-place victories. At the last meet against Rushville on Monday, Goedde won the Uneven Bars (7.95 points), the Floor Exercise (8.45), the Vault (8.575) and was third on the Balance Beam (7.65). In the All-Around, a combination of all four event scores, Goedde was able to win with 32.625 total points. The Yellow Jackets finished with 84.8 points, the highest team score this season.

Morristown assistant coach Megan Ramsey said Goedde has meant a great deal to the team.

“Personally, I love having her on our team, Ramsey said. “She does really well with the other girls. And with her first time being in public school, having these two girls who are best friends for her (helps). She has meant a lot to the team.”

This week, the Yellow Jackets have been preparing for the Connersville Sectional on Saturday. Last season, MHS finished 11th out of 16 teams (62.8). At practices, Ramsey has the team focusing on adding higher level tricks to their routines.

“Greenley is working on a double-full turn on Beam that gets her a higher score,” Ramsey said. “Floorwise, we’re working on a back-tuck-half (turn) and trying to up her score on Vault and adding another double-full turn.”

Going into the sectional, Goedde feels the same nervousness as she did on the first day of high school. But she also feels laid back and ready to get going.

“I know that we have done well as a team already,” Goedde said. “Whether or not we get to regionals, we’ll be fine. I know our coaches are always proud of us.”

Patrick Murphy is a Sports intern for The Shelbyville News. Follow Patrick on Twitter @PMURPH505.

Connersville Gymnastics Sectional

Who: Shelbyville, Morristown, Southwestern and Waldron gymnastics teams

When: Saturday at 11 a.m. 

Where: Connersville Spartan Bowl, 1900 N Grand Ave, Connersville, IN 47331