Crimson Tide gymnastics, women's golf programs announce signings (FREE)

By Stan J. Griffin: November 9 2016

The tradition-rich University of Alabama gymnastics program never seems to find itself in rebuilding mode.
It simply reloads, which is why it continues to be a staggering college juggernaut.
And now add four more talented new student-athletes to the Crimson Tide mix.
Head coach Dana Duckworth announced Wednesday that UA has signed four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Bailie Key, Kylie Dickson, Alonza Klopfer and Lexi Graber will join the Tide for the 2017-18 season.
All four gymnasts have competed on the national stage and bring a strong academic background to the Crimson Tide.
“Bailie, Kylie, Alonza and Lexi are all unique in the gifts and talents they bring to the Capstone” UA head coach Dana Duckworth said. “Each of them has extraordinary experience, a special personality and competitive success that will translate into carrying on the legacy. They all strive for excellence in all phases of their lives and that drive will give them the opportunity to thrive here at The University of Alabama.”
A five-year member of the United States National Team, Bailie Key is coached by Kim and Chris Burdette at Texas Dreams Gymnastics, the same gym that produced current All-American junior Kiana Winston and sophomore Ari Guerra. Key has competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy meet in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, winning the all-around in 2013 and 2014.
“I am a people person and the moment that I walked onto the campus I noticed that the coaches took interest in me as a person, not just as a gymnast,” Key said. “I felt like they cared about my goals and the plans for my future. They went out of their way to provide all the information I needed to make the best decision for me. I wanted to be a part of a team that had integrity, character and were serious about their academics. Alabama had it all.”
The Montgomery, Texas, native earned a bronze medal on the uneven bars and was fourth in the all-around at the 2015 P&G Championships. She also won the all-around, balance beam and floor exercise at the 2013 P&G Championships and won bronze medals on the vault, balance beam and floor exercise at the 2012 VISA Championships. A senior at Lakeland Christian Academy, Key is a member of the National Honor Society. She is the daughter of Dannette and James Key.
A native of Spanish Fort, Ala., Kylie Dickson has dual United States and Belarus citizenship. She has competed for Belarus in the 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games.  Dickson is coached by Artur Akopyan and Galina Marinova at the All Olympia Gymnastics Center. Dickson also posted a top-25 all-around finish at the 2016 European Championships.
“I am from Alabama, and I want to help Alabama win more national championships,” Dickson said. “Growing up in ‘my state’ I was exposed to a set of values that taught me that hard work, class and the pursuit of excellence were necessary to achieve your goals.  The University of Alabama and its gymnastics program represent quality, excellence and consistency and these values align to my character. My interactions with the coaching staff and the girls on the team have revealed to me a family environment, a fun atmosphere and a place where everyone is in it together.”
A Senior International Elite, Dickson posted top-12 finishes in the all-around and the floor exercise at the 2015 Secret U.S. Classic. A senior at Spanish Fort High School where she has earned a place on the Honor Roll every semester, she is the daughter of Stacey and Steve Dickson.


The 2016 Junior Olympic National Balance Beam Champion, Alonza Klopfer is coached by Tony Gehman and Ann Meade at North Stars Gymnastics Academy. She took silver on the balance beam at the 2013 National Elite Qualifier Parkettes and was top five on the vault at the 2013 American Classic. She was second on the balance beam at both the 2012 WOGA Elite Qualifier and the 2011 National Qualifier.
“The University of Alabama has everything I was looking for,” Klopfer said. “I'm going to be able to experience a great education, as well as being a part of one of the best SEC schools in the United States. I'm am so excited to be a part of this legacy, and I know that my future is going to be bright.”
The Boonton, N.J., native won the vault and balance beam as well as taking the bronze in the all-around and floor exercise at the 2011 USA Gymnastics Open Championships. A senior in the North Stars Homeschooling Program, she is the daughter of Fred and Marina Klopfer.
The 2016 Junior Olympic National Vault Champion, Lexi Graber is coached by Dave Zwiefelhofer at Coast Elite Gymnastics Academy. She was the Junior Olympic Level 10 National Championships runner-up in the all-around in both 2012 and 2014. She also posted top-10 finishes in the uneven bars, balance beam, vault and floor exercise between the 2012 and 2014 Level 10 National Championships.
“The atmosphere and the great attitude expressed by everyone is absolutely amazing,” Graber said. “No matter where you go, if you are on Alabama campus, you don't want to be anything other than excited and joyful. The coaches and my future teammates all express such excitement for the future and all the things we are going to accomplish. The fact that I get to attend such an outstanding school that strives for academic excellence while also striving in the sport I love makes me so eager to see what the future brings. I have never doubted my choice of attending Alabama ever since my freshman year of high school and I am positive that the next four years of my life will be the ones I will remember and cherish forever.”
The Cape Coral, Fla., native took fourth in the all-around at the 2015 Nastia Liukin Cup. A senior at North Fort Myers High School where she earned the Al Oerter Award for excellence in academics, she is the daughter of Randy and Jodi Graber.

MORESCO SIGNS WITH UA WOMEN'S GOLF PROGRAM:

The Alabama women's golf program also picked up a talented addition Wednesday.

The Crimson Tide opened the early signing period by inking Angelica Moresco of Caldogno, Italy, to a national letter of intent, head coach Mic Potter announced.
“I am pleased and excited that Angelica Moresco has made the decision to attend the University of Alabama and become part of our Women’s Golf program.  Angelica is a member of the Italian Junior National Team that won the European Junior Team Championship this summer, after finishing runner-up in 2015.  I was impressed with Angelica’s technical skills when I first saw her compete.  What impressed me most though was her maturity, calm demeanor and leadership ability. I look forward to Angelica bringing those skills to our team in 2017!”
The top-ranked junior golfer in Italy and 11th-ranked junior golfer in Europe, Moresco is coming off of a very successful summer. She won the Italian U18 championship in 2016 playing out of Padova Golf Club and was a member of the Italian junior team that won the European Girls Team Championship in Oslo, Norway. Moresco also finished fifth at the 2016 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Fukada, Japan, firing a four-under par 284 to help lead the Italians to a fifth-place finish in the team competition.
She also recorded a fourth-place finish at the French Juniors and an eighth-place finish at the German Girls Championship. Competing at the senior amateur level, she finished 12th at the Italian Women’s Amateur and 10th at the Portuguese Women’s Amateur this season.
Moresceo is the daughter of Michele Moresco and Alessandra Zanella of Caldogno, Italy.

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

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Stan J. Griffin

I am a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I currently reside and work. I am doing regular sports and feature writing for the Tuscaloosa-based Druid City Living and also am the Alabama beat writer for Crimson Magazine. I am a 1993 graduate of the University of Alabama, where I wrote for The Crimson White. I have an extensive background in newspaper journalism, having served as a sports editor and reporter for the Delta Democrat Times, St. Clair News-Aegis, Andalusia Star-News and the St. Clair County News.

I also have my own sports blog site, The Sports Connection, which I partner on with a friend of mine, and we began this site in November of 2012. I write blog on a variety of sports subject, and have also had guest contributors write their own blogs for the site. I have interviewed prominent sports figures for the site, including Paul Finebaum of the new SEC Network.

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stan-griffin-10506923

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