Captain’s Corner – Girls’ Gymnastics Preview

As the Winter Sports season begins, we are hoping to have regular team updates from some of the captains. Today’s update comes from Erin Shea (’14), a captain of the girls’ gymnastics team, about the upcoming season

by Erin Shea
Girls’ Gymnastics Captain

There will be definite ups and downs for the BHS girls’ varsity gymnastics team this year. The potential the team has this year is promising and gives me hope, as captain, that I could help to lead us in an overall successful year!

Based on the hard work I see early on, this year will be one of dedication and heart given by all gymnasts. Braintree’s team chemistry this year is one of the strongest attributes to the team; everyone gets along and works very well together. This could come as a surprise because gymnastics may seem individual, but it is in fact very much a team sport. Gymnasts rely on each other for support and to win, everyone needs to hit their routines, the team needs each other. This factor is what brings athletes together as a true team and will benefit Braintree greatly. Between this hard work and amazing team chemistry, no matter what the record says, Braintree will gain experience and memories during this 2013-2014 season.

An interesting development however is that freshmen are building the team, making up almost half of the team and it gives me as well as my fellow captain, Olivia Mansfield, hope for the program to continue to thrive in the future. The freshmen are extremely dedicated and it gives the program immense potential which is exactly what the team needed.

Athletic wise, BHS does stand up to the competing teams in the conference and as a team we have a chance to win meets. We have strong athletes on every event, but there is one seemingly tough obstacle in the way. The uneven bars are proving a challenge as many gymnasts are beginners and it is a difficult apparatus to grasp, literally! As a team, Braintree is allowed to put six athletes up on each event and Head Coach Deb Duprey is having difficulties finding more than four gymnasts to compete. Through practice however, and constant work on bars, the girls will improve and prove to put up a solid bar lineup by the middle of the season if all goes well.

Other than uneven bars however, the gymnasts competing this year are lively and fresh with a great deal of energy and compassion to lend. Floor will be a sight to see, from back handsprings to round off back handspring layout full and one half to a punch front, the team is all over the mats! Music styles this year range anything from hip hop to pop to jazz to classical, and the choreography in routines this year is sharp and will hopefully score well with judges throughout this season.

Vault has always been and continues to be where Braintree shines. With a solid six vaults, the team looks solid for the upcoming season with a mix of front handsprings to a finishing vault of a pike tsukahara to end with a bang!

The last event, everyone’s favorite, is beam. The balance beam is a four inch wooden beam which gymnasts are required to jump, twist, turn, flip, and tumble all over; and yes, gymnasts compete the beam willingly! Beam takes the most concentration and any gymnast knows that the feeling of sticking a beam routine is a priceless feeling.

Because of the athletic highs, but immense physical toll, gymnasts develop a love hate relationship with gymnastics. Practices are grueling at times and gymnast’s bodies take a major physical strain, but the feeling of hitting routine is unmatchable. The euphoric feeling of hitting a routine is worth the late nights for gymnasts, it’s worth the aches, the pains, the sweat, and the tears. Hours and hours of hard work for this Braintree team are worth the few minutes a week of competing. This is why the BHS gymnastics team is showing immense heart and passion for this sport; gymnastics is an extremely rewarding sport. Through gymnastics and this season, the girls will learn discipline, teamwork, dedication along with a plethora of benefits gymnastics offers. The BHS gymnasts this year are sure to impress and with a stupendous group that shows this much potential and heart, I couldn’t be more proud to call them my team. I, along with my fellow captain and teammates cannot wait for an exciting year full of spot on routines and an incredible group of talented girls working hard and showing their talents all season long.

Meets are Tuesdays and Fridays starting at 7:00. They are free of charge and anyone is welcome, so they are a great opportunity to see some really amazing talent!

Check for a complete schedule and make sure to check us out!