The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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Boys gymnastics adjusts to new format

No longer official IHSA sponsored sport, team faces changes for state competitions

Last year, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) ruled that boys gymnastics would no longer be an official Illinois high school sport. The school participation in Illinois had dropped below the seven percent needed to keep gymnastics a sport. This now means that coaches like LT Head Coach Samuel Zeman have to figure out if and how they are affected, and how to move forward.

“So far this ruling has not affected us at all,” Zeman said. “At LT we have received great support from Principal Jennifer Tyrell and Athletic Director John Grundke. So far everything has been going smoothly just as if [gymnastics] was an IHSA sport.”

However, there has been one major change in terms of how state is run. The IHSA no longer runs the state meet held at the end of the season. Instead there will now be a IHSGCA (Illinois High School Gymnastics Coaches Association) state meet to decide the state champion. This gives the coaches of the several schools complete control over how they would like to run the state tournament.

“There are some changes that we have made,” Zeman said. “We have wanted to make these changes for a while. We used to only give out awards to the top five, but now we can give out awards to the top 10. State will only be one day now, and we will bring 10 teams to the state meet instead of eight. In a lot of ways [this ruling] has been an advantage to us.”

For gymnasts like Nick Peterson ‘24, who has been on the gymnastics team all four years of his high school career, the change doesn’t distract from his goals.

This ruling doesn’t change how I approach gymnastics,” Peterson said. “I’ll continue to focus on preparing myself for competition. I think the important thing is that each gymnast just focuses on what we need to get done, no matter how we are supported by the IHSA. We can’t let developments like these distract us from our goal of winning state this year.”

The schedule for gymnastics has remained almost completely the same, with some minor changes as some schools dropped their gymnastic programs. LT still had its home meet on March 8 at the SC gymnastics gym. For many seniors on the team, they will be able to still compete at home one last time.

“I’m really looking forward to being able to compete alongside the friends I’ve made in my past three years of gymnastics at LT,” Peterson said. “Getting to know the large group of freshmen that have just come into the sport, I will miss being a part of a team. Gymnastics is the only sport I’ve participated in in high school and it’s hard to believe that I’ve known some of these guys for three years already. It’s a little bittersweet because I know this season will be really fun, but I can’t just come back and do it all again next year.”

The next boys gymnastics meet is the Hinsdale Central invitational on April 5 at Hinsdale Central.

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