“Carrying on Traditions”: Despite COVID-19 Restrictions, Raiders Gymnastics Making Most of Season


Matthew Levine, Sports Editor

Junior Gianna Mavilla felt like it was just any normal year once she entered the gym and heard the words of support, motivation and encouragement from her teammates during their first meet on Tuesday, March 16. While it’s been more than a year since the high school gymnastics team has competed together, it’s been worth the wait. 


 The Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School gymnastics team returned to the gym this week beating Jonathan Dayton High School 108.25-95.85. 


“It has been challenging getting used to the restrictions due to COVID-19, but we are all happy to be back in the gym and able to compete,” Mavilla said.  


Mavilla, a member of the varsity team since her freshman year, was named co-captain at the start of the season along with seniors Natalia Nervi and Lenore Ferguson — a credit to her performance, work ethic and earning the respect of her teammates and coaches. 


“It has been a great honor, and I realized that more goes into a meet than just showing up,” Mavilla said. 


COVID-19 restrictions include wearing masks at all times unless competing or completing a trick that could obscure a person’s vision. While the Raiders aren’t able to have normal team building events like pasta parties, they have found ways to tweak these traditions bringing as much normalcy to the season as possible. 


“I really loved being at the meet on Tuesday because hearing the team cheer for one another, particularly on floor [routine] where everyone goes crazy, I felt this sense of normalcy and comfort that I’ve been lucky enough to have all 4 years of high school,” Ferguson said. “It’s nice carrying on traditions like pasta parties and tweaking them a little bit. Although they’re different, there’s still a sense of tradition that’s present.” 


As a captain, Ferguson is making it a priority to bring the team together as often as possible. In the midst of a pandemic, Ferguson has found a new and even greater appreciation for not as much competing but the camaraderie of the team. 


“I now realize how important this sport is to all of us and how crucial it is to truly be a team, especially in this year with COVID-19,” Ferguson said. “It’s changed my perspective on competing because I do not prioritize it [competing] as much as I prioritize the team itself. I would much rather us be a family and have a successful season than simply being people who compete with one another without the true sense of being a team.” 


Highlights from Tuesday’s meet included excellent performances by the Raiders on vault as well as impressive floor routines by junior Tamyra Singletary and sophomore Shay Farley who scored 9.3 and 9.4, respectively.  


Below you can find the Raiders top scorers in each of the events: 


  1. Tamyra Singletary, 9.25
  2. Ava Fazio, 9.1
  3. Shay Farley 9.05


  1. Erin Kennedy, 9.1 
  2. Ella Burgio, 8.6
  3. Gianna Mavilla, 8.6


  1. Jordana Reisberg, 9.15
  2. Natalia Nervi, 8.9
  3. Ava Leonetti, 8.6 

Floor Exercise

  1. Shay Farley, 9.4
  2. Tamyra Singletary, 9.3
  3. Ava McKenzie, 8.95


Be sure to check out their next meet against Summit on Tuesday, March 23 on Raider News at 4:30.