2016 Fall Sports Preview: Gymnastics


McKella Sylvester

photo by Peter Warren

   With a new sports season at Scotch Plains-Fanwood, the excitement level is high among fall athletes.

   The girls gymnastics team is looking forward to a new season with more wins and fewer injuries.

   “Last year we had a lot of girls who were out on injury,”  head coach Lisa Cerchio said. “We are going to try to take it slow, ease into getting back up onto our own two feet and hopefully keep everybody healthy.”

   Team captain Amelia Paladino added, “Because our last season was rough, we had a lot of injuries, [but] I am looking forward to having a better season.”   

   The team held fundraisers to buy a new spring floor.

   “This is a tremendous advantage for our team because gymnasts are able to perform more difficult tumbling passes, which result in higher scores,” junior Kristy Cerini said.

   The gymnastics team is hoping to recover from a losing record of 5-8 last season.

   Despite the season just beginning, the girls are looking forward to the state sectional tournament towards the end of the season in November.

   “We hope within the next two months to qualify at least half the team to go to the state sectional tournament,” Cerchio said.

   Paladino and fellow team captains Team captains Abby Kennedy and Keara Farley all agreed that injuries were the team’s biggest problem last year.

   “We lost more than we won last year because of injuries,” Farley said. “But this year, we got everyone back, so we’re planning to do a lot better.”

   At the end of last year, Farley did the best of the whole team on the uneven bars, and Kennedy scored the best of the whole team in the vault event.

   Another factor for potential success for the new season is the size change to the team this year.

   This year’s varsity team has 23 players, which would benefit the team during tournaments when motivating and substituting players is needed.

   “If someone does get hurt, there is always someone there to step right in,” Cerini said. “Having a larger team also means a lot of motivation and positivity, which is also very important to any sports environment.”

   Girls gymnastics is ready to stick the landing this season and leave the adversity that plagued them last year, behind them.