Boys gymnastics seeks redemption in new year

Jack Stornello, Staff Reporter

The boys gymnastics team returned with high hopes earlier this month, determined to ‘right the ship,’ in a sense, after last year’s season really didn’t go their way. The first competition of the season took place just a couple weeks ago.

“We only won one meet. We weren’t a very strong team last year,” head coach Bill Watts explained, “We were hoping to improve on that this year. We have some returning varsity members to help raise our team score from last year.”

For the apparent difficulty of the competitions, it seems like not an exorbitant amount of time is spent training and preparing. According to Coach Watts, they started “February 16, [with] two and a half weeks spent getting ready.”

“We practice Monday through Friday from 3:45-6:00 p.m., [and] Saturdays from 9:00-12:00 a.m.” Watts commented.

Their roster this year is a mix of both old and new. Both Jason Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez are seniors returning for their fourth year in a row. Two other seniors, Dan Medina and Hiro Kamato, are returning for another year as well. Alongside them are four juniors: Jim Briggs, Oscar Chavez, Jon Hernandez and Dominic Hester. There’s one newcomer this year sophomore Nico Bahena.

Junior Oscar Chavez has high hopes for this season. This year, he’s “seeking new tricks” and looking forward to “having a good floor routine.” Furthermore, despite the overall outcome, Chavez has fond memories of last season.

“My favorite part about last season was to have fun and strive to hit new tricks and better routines like a back off from [the] parallel bars,” Chavez added.

On the coaching staff this year are Bill Watts, Bob Esposito, and Ethan Hartowicz. Each coach works on one of three levels in the sport. Watts, the head coach, is varsity, Esposito is the JV coach, and Hartowicz is the freshman coach.

Competitions in this sport consist of six different events: floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vaulting, parallel bars and high bar.

“We compete against different schools,” Watts said. “Every gymnast gets a score from a judge, they perform their routine in front of a gymnastics judge who gives them an overall score for their performance.”

As head coach, Watts has a lot of work ahead of him this season.

“Throughout the season I will help to develop competitive gymnastics routines for every varsity gymnast,” Watts said. “Ones with all the event requirements and a higher level of difficulty compared to the start of the season.”

On their road to redemption this year, the boys gymnastics team definitely seems to be in good shape. Only time will tell what comes of their hard work and preparation.