As the 2023 LSU Football season rolls through November, another championship contending team on campus is currently in the preparation stages for its upcoming season. Before you know it, the ladies of LSU Gymnastics will once again be taking over the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on their quest for a national championship.
This year, the Tigers will have a new face in the locker room, yet one that is familiar with SEC-level gymnastics. Savannah Schoenherr, a grad transfer from the University of Florida, is ready to make her mark in an LSU leotard.
“Our goal is to win a national championship,” said Schoenherr when asked about the team’s goals for the 2024 season. “We recognize we aren’t the only ones that want that, so we have been taking necessary steps to set ourselves apart from the rest of the teams in the country to accomplish this goal. We’ve been focusing on how we can get there together and know that being on the same page collectively as a team is really going to set us up for the most success.”
Schoenherr hails from Athens, Ga., where she attended North Oconee High School. She was a member of Georgia Elite Gymnastics before the beginning of her collegiate career.
While Schoenherr might be familiar with the world of SEC gymnastics, she lacked knowledge of LSU and the surrounding Baton Rouge area. However, she has had no trouble adjusting and notes what has stood out to her most about the Red Stick.
“The culture is just so different from anywhere else I’ve ever been,” says Schoenherr. “It’s been such a fun time being here in a new environment. I love all the people in Baton Rouge, and I especially love learning my way around a new city and adapting to new ways of doing things. I also have no complaints about the food. It’s immaculate!”
She also mentioned how lucky is she for what she described as the “seamless transition” she has had between her previous school, Florida, and LSU.
“It feels like I’ve been at LSU for years,” she said. “The team and staff welcomed me in like they had known me forever and has made this change so easy on me in every way. I am so thankful for this year I get to spend at LSU and am excited for all the memories yet to come. I’ve had the best time so far and can’t even begin to imagine what’s next.”
In her sixth year of college gymnastics, Schoenherr has seen her fair share of quality squads. She feels very passionate about the fact that this Tiger team might just be the best one she has been a part of.
“I feel like I could go on about every single girl on this team,” she said. “The talent this team has is so insane, it blows my mind. Not only that, but the hard work, discipline, and mindset that this entire team has is so inspirational to me. We all push each other to be better, not only as gymnasts, but as people, which is the greatest thing I could ask for in a team. I am so excited to see the freshmen class shine, they are absolutely KILLING it right now.”
Schoenherr made no hesitation to give praise to two of her Tiger teammates: Kiya Johnson and Ashley Cowan.
“I am super excited to see Kiya Johnson compete this year, given the finish she had to her last season,” Schoenherr said. “She is looking stronger and stronger every day and is such a motivation to me through her constant positivity. Ashley Cowan is another standout in practices lately that I am so excited to see shine this year. She handles herself with so much poise and again, as an underclassman, is incredibly inspirational to a sixth-year grandma like me!”
The “grandma” of the team isn’t just here to bake cookies and fuss at the little ones. Schoenherr came to Baton Rouge to not only compete at the highest level of college gymnastics, but win a national championship, and she has every intention to do just that.
“I have a lot of individual goals I want to accomplish this season that I am diligently working towards every single day,” she explained. “These goals include competing in the all-around, scoring a few perfect 10s, and of course, winning a championship.
“The most important thing to me this year, though, is being a good teammate and being someone every person on my team can rely on. My team has done nothing but bring me pure happiness since I’ve been at LSU, and I want to give that same energy back to them all season long and be the best hype woman I can possibly be!”
Schoenherr will be the first to tell you, she has experienced adversity in her career. She had to sit out her last season at Florida due to injury, making her return to the mats in 2024 even more special. Despite everything, Schoenherr knows she is in the right place, and ready to succeed.
“I feel that everything that has happened in my career has set me up perfectly for this year,” she said. “There have been so many blessings in disguises, such as my injury last year. I struggled for so long wondering why that was happening, but continued to trust the process and believe it was for a greater purpose. The adversity I’ve faced over the years has truly shaped me into the human being I am now and am continuing to become. Even though it felt so strange calling myself a Tiger and wearing purple and gold at first, it feels so natural now and I have such a good feeling about this year!”
You can catch Savannah and her teammates at their beginning-of-the-season preview event, Gymnastics 101, on Saturday, December 16, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Stay tuned to lsusports.net for any further updates regarding Gymnastics 101 and the Tigers’ upcoming 2024 campaign.