December 15, 2023 – Story by Ava DiCecca, photos by Joshua Ross
The girls are back this year and in hopes of yet another successful and rewarding season. This will be their second year combined with Hull and they are very excited to further those relationships, as well as make connections with the new girls entering the program. They will be focusing this year on competing their best individually by learning new skills, mastering old ones, and perfecting their routines, while also fostering great relationships that allow everyone to thrive. Head Coach Alexandra Boyd is hoping that, along with her captains Elizabeth Schembri, Lily Steiner, and Walker Sibley, she will be able to make this a very successful season.
This is a small team with only thirteen girls competing and Lily Steiner is hoping that will actually be an advantage to them this season: “we are a small team which I love because it means that we have the opportunity to get to know eachother on a deeper more personal level and I really want to be able to bring that out this year.” As a senior, she will also focus on her own goals for herself this year “taking on the role of captain this year I really want to prioritize for myself and the team as a whole just getting into that community and team bonding.” She also mentioned that in competition, her main focus will be improving her confidence on bars so that she can not only compete at a higher level, but help some of the newer gymnasts who tend to find the most difficulty in that event.
Schembri echoed many of her fellow captain’s thoughts emphasizing that “I just hope it is a really fun season. I’ve done gymnastics since I was really little so pretty much to just finish strong and everyone have a good year. I would love to get some new skills and hopefully compete them.” The focus for these two girls seems to be having a good time this season, improving their skills, and getting to know their teammates. There are a lot of opportunities for relationships to be formed this year with new girls coming in, teammates from Hull, a new assistant coach, and a head coach who is looking to further her connection with the girls and it seems like these captains will be taking full advantage of that.
Coach Boyd appeared very excited for the upcoming season and right in line with the ideas of her captains. She stated, “we pride ourselves in the fact that we are a really nice group. We are welcoming to all new members and are really good at supporting the other teams whenever we go to a competition.” She is anxious to watch them perform as she has seen them grow their skills and form immensely since last year through their extensive preparation in the offseason. She spoke about some of her top scoring gymnasts we should expect great things from this year including Sienna Besser, Taylor Delaney, Elizabeth Schembri, and Julia Scipione. She also went on to discuss some of the goals she has for some of her individuals including strong leadership from her captains and the improvement of some new skills from Besser, specifically on vault.
Boyd was also very excited for the addition of a new league invitational meet this year in January. They usually only have one of these meets a year so she is happy the girls will get another chance to compete and show off their skills. This meet will only aid them in their overall performance this season in the eyes of Boyd as she commented, “as a team, we are really good at adjusting as the season goes on and making improvements so that our last meet of the season is usually one of our highest scoring meets.” She has always been impressed with the improvement she sees from the beginning of the season to the end and with this added opportunity for the girls, we should expect them to be even stronger this season.