Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

January 31, 2013

Boys gymnastics pummeled

State no longer recognizes sport, teams

(Continued)

Sirois said Andover has a long history with boy gymnastics teams. The teams started in the 1930s. Today, the team has 10 gymnasts and their record is 6-1.

Team members were not happy to hear of MIAA’s vote to eliminate boys gymnastics as a varsity sport starting next year.

“It’s a shame because we have a lot of young guys who are really good,” said team member Josh Martin.

Martin played lacrosse and soccer before turning to gymnastics. He competes in the rings and on the parallel bars.

“I feel like I push myself mentally more in gymnastics. I can’t say how or why,” said Martin, “it’s just how it is.”

Junior Brian McDonough likes the cross-section of ages on the team. There’s no freshman or junior varsity boys gymnastic team. There’s just one team for all four grades at AHS.

“I like that. You see your teammates in the hallways and we all say hello,” McDonough said.

McDonough also likes how teams root for all the athletes.

“We all cheer for each other...even for competitors. I like that, too,” McDonough said.

The team is certainly not cheering for the MIAA vote. Sirois and his team are writing letters to the MIAA to protest its vote and trying to get support for the team. Sirois said representatives from all seven high schools hope that MIAA changes its mind.

“So many gymnasts and their parents say the sport has changed them in a positive way. Leadership skills, self confidence are learned on these mats,” Sirois said. “We should hold onto a program that produces so many positive male role models.”

Leadership skills, self confidence are learned on these mats. We should hold onto a program that produces so many positive male role models. Coach Steve Sirois

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