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2013 Year in Review: Sikich says ‘it’s time’

Longtime Park gymnastics coach Mark Sikich said goodbye to coaching this past year – his 31st overall. (Bulletin file photo)

Longtime Park gymnastics coach Mark Sikich said goodbye to coaching this past year – his 31st overall.

“I’m just all torn up about it,” Sikich said at the time. “Part of me definitely wants to still be involved. But, when your body is telling you it’s time it probably should be. One thing I never want to do with our girls is to short them at all as far as my energy level and ability to coach with high spirits, high energy and high motivation.”

Sikich, who grew up in Hibbing and is a 1983 graduate of Concordia University, is a three-time gymnastics Coach of the Year award winner. He is also a member of the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association Hall of Fame and a Concordia University — St. Paul Athletic Hall of Fame member.

In addition to coaching the Park gymnastics team, Sikich — a physical education teacher at Park —judges gymnastics meets every winter and has been an assistant coach on the Park football team in the fall.

Sikich said the long hours each winter were wearing on him after doing it for more than three decades.

He said, in the winter, he can work upward of six days a week from roughly 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sikich said what meant most to him about his coaching career is seeing the successes his former student-athletes have had in their lives after graduation.

“It’s about where you start and where you finish with the kids and the lessons you learn along the way,” Sikich said about coaching. “It’s not wins and losses. It’s the journey. You just hope the kids have enough fun that they want to try it again next year, they want to get other people involved and they want to train and get better.”

-Patrick Johnson

Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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