The Duncan Banner

Sports

May 20, 2013

Gymnast coach Rucker receives special surprise

DUNCAN — It’s been said “If you love what you do, then you’ll never work a day in your life.”

For Janet Rucker, she’ll tell you she’s been having fun for more than 30 years teaching young women across Stephens County the sport of gymnastics at Ruckers Gymnasium in Duncan.

This past Saturday at the 2013 Ruckers Gymnastics Spring Program, current and former students along with coaches decided to give a little something back to their beloved friend, and mentor in Janet Rucker.

Following the conclusion of the program, Rucker was surprised to see a line of students form all giving her a rose in appreciation for all of her work and guidance, a moment which brought her to tears of joy.

“This has been an amazing journey for me,” Rucker said. “It’s been an avenue for me in which the Lord has allowed me to bless these kids and they have blessed me right back. Each one of those girls has a story and some great memories. They’ll never know what it meant to me seeing each one of them.”

Janet Rucker moved to the the north side of Oklahoma City in 1956, after being born in Kansas City, MO.  

It was in fourth grade where she was first noticed by a physical education teacher named Mary Wooline at Ridegeview Elementary, who discovered Rucker’s talent in gymnastics.

Before she knew it, Rucker was apart of The All-Arounds gymnastics team, which was coached by Olympian Janie Sparks.

During her teen years, Rucker represented a five-state region at the Junior Olympics in Nashville, before qualifying in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas in various meets, all the while being apart of the Oklahoma City Twisters gymnastics team.

Following her graduation from John Marshall High School, Rucker was offered a scholarship at OU, and eventually married her husband Charles two years into college.

For more than 26 years, Ruckers Gymnasium has been at its current location at Elk and Fifth, where young women have blossomed into greatness as gymnasts and people ever since.

Before they were known as the Dyna-Flites, Rucker’s Gymnastics team was called the Southwest Benders.

In 1988, the Dyna-Flites captured the level four state championship, including competing at an international meet, along with collecting several all-around champions.

“Janet was a gymnast as well, and has touched so many people’s lives,” Rucker’s gymnastics coach Lisa Martin said. “She always says that coaches plant seeds in children and that she’s planted an orchard. The kids make the job, and it shows in Janet’s work. I remember when I was little and she tumbled for us, and she’s always had a positive and loving environment in this gym.”

Among the former students who were present to show their appreciation for Rucker, were Shalyn Files and Kylee Saville, Jenny Simpson, Britton Scott, Allison Wilcox, Abby Dressler and Kaitlyn Wright.

“From day one of gymnastics until my last day, Janet was always loving and encouraging to me and everyone else who has come through this gym,” Files said. “She’s an outstanding woman and I consider her family. It was unbelievable to give Janet that split second of appreciation, it made everything so special.”

Saville added she still holds the time she spent at Rucker’s Gymnasium extremely special.

“Janet taught me everything I know, and has been like a mother to us,” she said. “She’s just a nice Christian lady who gave up all her time to spend it in a gym full of girls. This is where we grew up and it feels like we’re home here.”

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Demon golfers compete at Lincoln Park

    The Duncan boys golfers competed at a tournament at Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City Thursday.
    Individual scores were Blake Graham with 76 and 79, Logan Harris with 76 and 75, Tyler Albin with 77 and 78, Christian Dructor with 78 and 86, and Carson Hogstad with 80 and 83.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 duncan track photo.jpg Track teams head to Norman

    The Duncan track athletes travel to Norman today for a meet at the University of Oklahoma.
    Duncan boys coach Todd Ledford said that the Demons will be one of just three Class 5A teams attending. The rest of the teams are 6A.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Demon baseball beats Plainview in extra innings

    The Duncan baseball team had to go extra innings and then hold off a late rally to win at Plainview 3-2 Thursday.
    The game was tied 1-1 after seven innings. The Demons broke the tie with two runs in the top of the eighth, but Plainview battled back to make it 3-2 in its half of the inning.

    April 18, 2014

  • More home tourney action awaits Demons

    Another weekend of home matches await the Duncan tennis teams.
    The BancFirst Tournament will be at the Duncan High School tennis courts, with the girls playing Friday and the boys Saturday. The tourneys come one week after Duncan hosted the Southern Oklahoma Invitational.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 Empire baseball.jpg Bulldog pitching staff builds confidence

    Heading towards the postseason, Empire is closing in on the possibility of winning record thanks in large part to its improvements on defense.
    The Bulldogs (10-11) have cut down the errors from 10 or more a game to two or three a game. Coach Stefan Hunt said that’s led to the pitchers seeing some better results on the mound. Though, the pitchers have improved their game as well.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 duncan baseball photo.jpg Demons in close district race

    The Duncan baseball team is in a close race to finish in the top four in District 2-5A and earn a trip to regionals.
    Duncan is 7-3 in district and in third place. First-place Carl Albert has lost just one district game. The Titans split with second-place Chickasha, which also split with Duncan.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 jaz gayanich signing photo.jpg Gayanich to play for Panhandle State

    Velma-Alma senior Jaz Gayanich signed Wednesday to play basketball for Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell.
    Gayanich said Panhandle coach Jerry Olsen was upfront about his program and ideas, compared to other coaches Gayanich visited. Gayanich already knows what role he’s expected to play.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Those who knew John Humphrey respected him

    Duncan resident Rod Battles got to know John Humphrey pretty well.
    Battles first played Duncan High School baseball for Humphrey in 1965. He later returned to DHS, when Humphrey hired him as an assistant, and later head baseball coach. After both men retired, they became fishing buddies. Humphrey joined Battles and others for annual trips to Lake Texhoma.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 VA baseball Comets stay calm under pressure

    Lately, Velma-Alma baseball has made a habit of having some exciting finishes.
    In its home tournament, the Jake Leffler Wooden Bat Tournament, last weekend, it won four of five games. All of those victories came by less than five runs and two of them were by only one run.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Course challenges Lady Demons

    The Duncan girls golf team took sixth at the longest course it has played this year.
    KickingBird Golf Course is 5,300 yards. Add the windy conditions at the tournament hosted by Edmond Santa Fe and it made for a challenging day.

    April 17, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Poll

Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results