Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

May 9, 2013

Boys gymnastics may land on its feet

Boys gymnastics may get a reprieve.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s board of directors voted to remove boys gymnastics as a recognized varsity sport. They determined that participation in the sport is at an all-time low, with just a few hundred participants statewide, and most of them in the eastern part of the state.

The Andover High School team won the state championship in February, shortly after the MIAA made its decision.

Last week, however, the MIAA, after hearing arguments from several long-time boys gymnastics coaches, voted 7-2 to review its earlier decision. At its meeting on June 6, the board will again take up the matter.

Andover High School coach Steve Sirois said MIAA recognition of the sport is important because it’s “symbolic.”

But he also said that next year’s season would go on as planned, with or without MIAA recognition.

“We will have a team anyway,” he said, adding that boys gymnastics would be a club sport “with varsity recognition” at the local level. Meanwhile, he said, coaches from the other six remaining boys teams have all agreed they would participate in and run their own state tournament, traditionally the role of the MIAA.

Next year, Sirois anticipates having 25 students on the Andover team, with 300 participants statewide.

Paul Wetzel, a spokesman for the MIAA, said the organization welcomes any independent efforts aimed at keeping the sport going.

“The MIAA did not tell any school they could not have a gymnastics team,” Wetzel said. “All we said was we will no longer sponsor the tournament. They can do it themselves.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • AT RUSSELL2

    Courtesy photo Jenn Russell races upfield for the U.S. National women's lacrosse team. She hopes to be with the team for the next World Cup in 2017.

    Lacrosse star Russell leads defense for U.S. National team, sets sights on 2017 World Cup Posted 5 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT KUCHAR

    FILE PHOTO Chris Kuchar will become the fourth Andover High hockey coach in 3 1/2 years.

    Andover High names new hockey coach Posted 5 days ago 1 Photo
  • 140711_ET_CRU_BASEBALL_2

    CARL RUSSO/Staff photo Andrew Kombourasn draws high-fives and head pats from his teammates after scoring Andover Americans' first run in the opening game of the District 14 12-year-old championship. series against North Andover last Friday night.

    Summer classic: Andover Americans, Nationals make run for Districts Posted 5 days ago 11 Photos
  • Calabro swinging hot bat, Legion keeps rolling Posted 5 days ago
  • at round photo

    Andover Legion's Scott Leslie slides safely into home plate in a win over North Andover. Leslie is a big reason why Post 8 has been on fire this summer.

    Gillette, Selima stay red hot for Legion team Posted 12 days ago 1 Photo
  • at little league photo

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Alex Lane delivers a pitch for Andover National Little League during District 14 pool play. Both Andover National and Andover American scored huge wins last week.

    Prakash, McConnell use long ball to lead Andover American Posted 12 days ago 1 Photo
  • AT BIRD MUG

    COURTESY PHOTO Tyler Bird, who played his high school senior year at Kimball Union in New Hampshire, will likely play three or four years for Brown University in Rhode Island before making the leap to pro hockey.

    Bird lands the NHL draft Posted 12 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT BRIAN BURNS

    COURTESY PHOTO Lawrence Academy second baseman Brian Burns of Andover received Honorable Mention from the Independent School League this spring.

    Community Scoreboard Posted 12 days ago 1 Photo
  • AT BLUE JAYS2

    COURTESY PHOTO The Blue Jays pose with their coaches and team manager at the end of their undefeated season in the Andover Little League 9-year-old Division.

    Unbeaten Blue Jays win 9-year-old Division crown Posted 12 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT BREWERS1

    COURTESY PHOTO The Andover Little League Majors Division champion Brewers team included, front row, from left, Jacob Pepi, Evan Giggey, Matthew Shea, Aidan Ritter and Quinn Curtin; second row, from left, Aneudy Moreno, Sean Sullivan, Ryan Grecco, Jason Denoncourt, Ben Weeden and Michael Leone; and third row, from left, coaches Larry Shea, Jesse Ritter and Patrick Grecco.

    Brewers battle to 2014 Majors championship Posted 12 days ago 2 Photos

Pictures of the Week
Stocks