TUSCALOOSA, AL -
Catch phrases are used by teams for motivation. For example, the Alabama football team used "Never Again" in 2011, a season after Auburn beat the Tide in Tuscaloosa.
This season, Auburn had "A New Day" in Gus Malzahn's first season on the plains.
Now, a season after not capturing a third straight national championship, Alabama gymnastics has a motto of it's own.
"We are starting our story and each meet is going to be a chapter in our book," Alabama gymnast Katie Bailey said.
...once upon a time...
This is a story about how a head coach, Sarah Patterson, alongside her knight in shining armor, David Patterson, looks to continue the reign of one of the most successful gymnastics programs in the country.
"Once upon a time, we brain stormed for awhile, and thought this year nationals is in Birmingham, SEC is in Birmingham, it's a once in a lifetime experience for this team to compete together," all-american gymnast Kim Jacob said. "We just want that fairy tale ending and build a story along the way."
"Once upon a time" is the motto the team came up with during a summer re-treat.
"We came up with that because our team has such great chemistry," all-american Diandra Milliner said. "We just want this to be a fairy tale year. Of course, there's bad things we have to fight, like dragons."
Or maybe Gators, Bulldogs and Tigers.
"In the end we're hoping for a fairy tale ending."
And so the story goes, 16 damsels, all in search of that perfect score and the program's seventh national championship.
"We've seen both sides winning and losing," Milliner said. "We like winning better. We're more motivated now that we've felt the loss. It gets us on track to do what we need to do this year."