The MHM (Medway, Holliston, Millis) Gymnastics Team ventured into their first season this past weekend in Algonquin winning with a total score of 139.
Although they came out strong with a win, Barnstable will definitely be a huge competition for the team this season according to Holliston High School senior Shannon Regan and team coach Breanna Vacca.
Senior Bridget Ghelli said MADS (Medfield, Ashland, Dover-Sherborn) will be competition as well since she personally has competed with girls on that team and is aware of their skill level.
Shannon Regan and Bridget Ghelli, junior Dani Brucato, sophomores Teresa Bazonski and Amanda Lyons, and freshman Kayla McDevitt teamed up with 12 other girls from the Medway/Millis co-op team coached by Vacca to bring gymnastics back to Holliston.
Regan and Ghelli both began gymnastics at the age of two and began competing not too long afterwards.
“Shannon and I went multiple times to the old athletic director and asked about the possibility of joining with Medway,” said Ghelli.
In September, the girls returned to school and approached the new athletic director to question him about the team. Soon after they heard back that the team was going to happen.
Coach Vacca believes this team’s motivation will push them through the season regardless of the fact some haven’t competed in years.
“Some haven’t done gymnastics in four to eight years. That is a long time to stop gymnastics and then jump right back into competing. They have shown great effort and motivation to get back on these events and do what they used to do years ago,” Vacca said in an email interview.
Dani Brucato, along with Medway’s Kristen O’Toole and Marisa DiFonzo, are said to be the strongest gymnasts this season.
“I think Marisa DiFonzo will lead the team to great success. She is a senior from Medway and is the captain of the team this year,” Vacca said in an email interview.
When asked who her biggest competitor is, Regan said, “Going into this season I definitely think that my biggest competition is myself. Gymnastics is a very individual sport and it takes a lot of mental practice to be able to perform the skills that we do.”
Both Ghelli and Regan most likely will be participating on beam, however, Regan says she enjoys floor and Ghelli also plans to participate in vault and possibly floor.
Each athlete is placed where they do best, but they are also expected to challenge themselves and be prepared to go in other events last minute due to injury or illness.
“My future goals for myself would be to be able to regain all of my skills plus more,” Regan said. She also wishes to perform her regained skills in future meets. After not competing in gymnastics for a few years, she still has multiple skills up her sleeve she can perform.
“Personally I want to make it to states, then regionals, and maybe with some luck, New England’s,” Ghelli said. It has been four years since she has competed in gymnastics, but she went on to cheer for a year and retained many crucial skills in her time off.
Both Ghelli and Regan wish for the team to make it to states and possibly further than Medway/Millis made it last year. But, overall they agree that the most important thing for them is bonding with their teammates and supporting each other throughout the season.
When asked about the difference between the high school team and competitive team Vacca said, “When it comes to competitions my high school athletes are way more excited to compete. They are representing not only themselves but their schools as well.”
“My goal is that all three schools come together as one family and support one another throughout the entire season,” Vacca said.