DHS names Berry gymnastics coach

Casey Berry was named the new Dickinson High gymnastics coach. (File Image / The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson High School gymnastics looks to continue its dominance under new leadership.

Casey Berry was named the head coach of the Midgets on Thursday, replacing the legendary Kent Van Ells.

Van Ells’ 37-year career at Dickinson will be hard for Berry to top, but the foundation is there for instant success, and lots of it.

“I am really excited. I can’t wait to move forward on this. I am sad to see Mr. V go...,” she said. “He has been an important part of my life and journey in gymnastics. While I am sad to see him go, I am really excited to move forward and build on the foundation he had set for us.”

Van Ells coached Berry for most of her life as she began participating in gymnastics at 3 years old and did it all the way up until she was 18, making this very meaningful that she is replacing her mentor.


She is being promoted after being an assistant coach under Van Ells.

The Midgets have won five straight team state titles and Ayanna Fossum won the all-around state championship in 2020, but she will no longer be with the team as she graduated. Fossum also won the state championship on the vault and floor.

Brinklyn Schumacher was also a senior.

“It is huge losing those two,” said Berry. “Ayanna won state this year, but Brinklyn took third and that is a big loss as well. It is going to be tough to replace them. We do have some good seventh graders that are coming up and it will be exciting to see where they are. We have a lot of high-quality girls already. I expect them to keep getting better and better.”

Returners next year will be headlined by incoming sophomore Amy Fridley. She came in fourth place in the all-around at the state meet after placing second on the bars and third on the floor.

Brooklyn Deguzman will also be a sophomore and she came in seventh place this year at state with her best finish being tied for second on the vault.

Addison Fitterer came in eighth place at state and will be a freshman next year.

In addition, Rylee Olson and Anna Clifton will also be freshmen in Berry’s first year as head coach.


The lone upperclassmen to return will be senior Mikah Schock.

“It is an honor and great. I only hope to have as much success as (Van Ells) had,” said Berry. “Like I said he set a really great foundation for gymnastics in our community. I learned a lot and I am excited to use the tools that he gave me and move forward.”

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