Eagle Gymnastics in Frisco boasts a trio of teen athletes who soar high above expectations.
With a combined three decades of experience between them, Madison Hodes, Jordan Stewart and Weston Sitz are a few of the academy’s most seasoned members. A look at each of their accomplishments reveals that the blood, sweat and tears they put into their respective crafts since they were small children are worth every drop.
If it were not for a friend, Hodes would not have become involved with Eagle.
“My friend and I used to dance together, and then we started doing gymnastics at Eagle together and it just clicked, and I loved it,” Hodes, who enters her junior year at Frisco Lebanon Trail High, told Texas Scorecard.
A 12-year member of the academy, Hodes is currently a level 9 gymnast and was bestowed 2017-2018 Athlete of the Year honors. She said that her strengths are in floor tumbling and beam dance, yet she has one area she would like to improve on.
“I need to improve my confidence on bars,” Hodes said.
Among her feats, Hodes is proudest of being a great teammate to her peers and the academy’s youngest members.
“It means a lot when you ask them who you are and they know who you are and they look up to you,” she said. “It really is a good feeling.”
Hodes praises her teammates for being hers and each other’s biggest cheerleaders and commends her coaches for helping her reach her goals not just on the floor but in life.
Her goals are to earn a scholarship, as well as “leave the gym and be remembered by everyone.”
“My expectations going forward are to just have fun and do what is right,” Hodes said.
Stewart’s constant energy as a toddler prompted his parents to find an appropriate outlet. His tendency to perform flips on the couch was a sign that they should put him in gymnastics.
“My parents had been looking for a solution to my constant energy, and they saw gymnastics as that perfect solution,” Stewart said.
While Stewart has been doing gymnastics since the age of three, he joined Eagle as a middle-schooler. In six years, he went from being a Level 7 to a Level 10 gymnast, as well as earned 2015-2016 Athlete of the Year.
“Some accomplishments that I will remember for a very long time are winning four state championships, winning pommel-horse at every meet during one of my competition seasons, qualifying for an event final, and being able to compete alongside some of the best gymnasts in the world and qualifying for nationals,” Stewart said.
The Flower Mound Coram Deo Academy senior considers his upper-body strength and work ethic as his biggest strengths. He seeks to improve his flexibility.
According to Stewart, his Eagle teammates “are probably some of my closest friends.”
“Even though we make fun of each other, we definitely have each other’s backs, and I know I can count on them,” he said.
He added that he trusts his coaches completely.
“I know I can look to them for guidance, not only in the sport, but also in my personal life,” Stewart said. “They are some of my most important role models, and I cannot thank them enough for all that they do.”
Aside from gymnastics, Stewart enjoys playing the guitar, paintball and video games.
When children continually disobey their parents, they get punished.
Sitz recalled doing flips on the trampoline in his back yard against his mother’s wishes at 7 years old, but instead of losing certain privileges, he was enrolled in artistic gymnastics.
“[That] is what started everything,” Sitz said.
The Prosper High 12th-grader has assembled quite the gymnastics career. Since he started participating in trampoline and tumbling in 2016, Sitz has taken home at least one championship title.
He was selected to represent Team USA for trampoline at the World Age Group Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia, last year and was recently named to the U.S. Senior National Team for double mini trampoline.
“I am most proud of making it to the World Age Group Championships 2018 that was held in St. Petersburg, Russia,” Sitz, who has trained with Eagle for seven years, said. “I am also proud of making the Senior National Team for double mini trampoline this year and being able to compete with other world class athletes.”
Sitz also prides himself as someone who possesses a positive attitude during competitions regardless of the outcome and supports not just his teammates but other competitors. He admitted that he could improve on staying positive at practice.
His incredible prowess on the trampoline could be attributed to his stint as a member of the Prosper diving team. He is the current record holder at the Class 6A school in western Collin County.
According to Sitz, he has a positive relationship with his teammates and his coaches do a very good job providing him a calming influence.
He dreams of competing at the Olympics “at some point.”
“For now, I want to keep up the strong momentum as a gymnast so I can possibly vie for a world title,” Sitz said.
When Sitz is not on the trampoline, he works part-time cleaning medical clinics with his older brother and occasionally dabbles in martial arts.