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Westwood gymnastics makes debut this season

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BY DOUGLAS MCCULLOCH (@doug_mcculloch)

After several years of playing as a club sport, Westwood High’s newly formed varsity gymnastics team competed in its very first meet of the season on January 2.

Although the Wolverines fell 144.8-99.5 to MADS, made up of gymnasts from Medfield, Ashland, Dover and Sherborn, coach Ashley Fox noted that the team did quite well over last season as a club sport. She said the team did better at this meet than in meets last year, and had less falls than in any meet last year.

“This was a confidence booster for the girls,” Fox said. “It was their first meet of the season, they saw what they did, they know what they have to improve on, so they are ready to get back into the gym and prepare for our next meet.”

The Westwood High gymnastics team began as a club sport in 2013, after gaining approval from the Westwood High Athletic Director. Since then, the team has become very popular, and always retained enough players to continue to compete even when several seniors graduated each year.

Fox did note that there are differences between the team’s past as a club sport and a varsity team.

“As a club it was more of a fun sport for them whereas this year it’s a bit more competitive,” Fox explained. “Their scores actually matter this year and they want to show these other schools that they’re just as good as them.”

The buildup to the team’s debut meet has been a tough one. Fox began training the team shortly after Thanksgiving, much earlier than the team is used to because meets began in January as opposed to February. The girls trained four days a week, and built up the skills they gained last year as well as took part in drills and conditioning.

“We are making the girls stronger and more confident and getting their skill level higher so that they feel confident when they go out there and compete against other teams,” Fox said.

Looking forward, Fox has gained valuable feedback from judges as well as her own observations.

“There was criteria they were missing, some credit they didn’t get because their skills weren’t up to par, so we are definitely going to work on that and add a little more difficulty to get our start value higher,” Fox said.

See more photos from the meet here.

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