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Gym renamed to honor former coach

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HEYWORTH (WEEK)- Students, teachers and community members remember former Coach Donna Knapp by renaming the old gym in her honor. Years ago, a committee voted to rename the gym, however the COVID-19 shut down brought the ceremony to a halt. Now Principal April Hicklin performs the long-awaited ceremony. 

"Tonight's event is so important because it's such an interesting concept to have a gym named after a female coach. For us, I'm so proud of that because Donna Knapp was that coach," said Hicklin. 

Coach Knapp brought sports to Heyworth and empowered girls by encouraging them to become a part of the team. "She was very much into equitable sports for all students. So, she led the charge for our girls," says Hicklin.  

I spoke with former student, Catherine Dow, who now coaches at Bloomington High School. She says Coach Knapp influenced her role as a coach today. "I think she deserves this. She worked so hard to start sports here at Hayworth. Without her who knows how long it would have taken. For sports to get started in this small town. She pioneered that for our little town here in Hayworth," said Dow. 

Her daughter is a member of the freshman volleyball team and continues to carry on Coach Knapp's legacy. 

"My daughter Gabby is a freshman here at Hayworth, so it's kind of cool that she's here playing, and she's wearing my number. So that's special" says Dow.  

Coach Knapp's family expressed gratitude for the community coming together to honor one of their loved ones. 

AJ Douglas

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