Scouting boys gymnastics
As the season's first spring sport, boys gymnastics in the Northwest suburbs continues to grow. Coming off a 10-percent growth spurt from 2010, there were 479 participants at the 12 area schools in 2011. This year, the numbers are at 516, a growth of 7.7 percent.
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Teams to watch: Conant, behind a group of strong all-arounders, looks to unseat Palatine in the West. Fremd and Hoffman Estates should follow. In the East, the battle will be between Buffalo Grove and a Hersey team that is strong on the vault and floor.
Individuals to watch: Palatine's Jonah Hinz, who was third in the state in the all-around, should challenge for the state title this year. Fremd's C.J. Patton was second on the pommel horse and will be the favorite in that event this year. Conant all-arounders Joey Mauk and Brian Reedy will also be contenders along with Buffalo Grove's David Kavalerchik, Hersey's David Jackowski, Hoffman Estates' Jake Santiago, Rolling Meadows' Matt Crigler and Schaumburg's Elliot Lam.
Mid Suburban East
Coach: Zack Crandall
Returning gymnasts: David Kavalerchik, Sr.,( AA); Zac Halap, Sr., (FX, R, PB); Kirtan Patel , Sr., (R, V, PB, HB); Dar Reinhard, Sr., (FX, V); Jake Siebert, Jr.,( AA).
Newcomers: Chris Jacob, Jr., (AA); Matt Scislowski, So., (PH); Tyler Cho, So., (AA).
Lost from last season: Aaron Tarragano, Matt Stein, Nick Balko, Andrew Cabalfin and Julian Vasquez
Outlook: New coach Crandall returns a solid lineup from last season. The Bison are the favorites to repeat for the East conference title. Kavalerchik, who was second in the conference all-around last year, leads the way and should get help from Sibert. The Bison will need to replace Vasquez, who was second in the conference on the floor.
Coach: Ben Anderson
Returning gymnasts: Adam Kandafer, Sr. (HB, PB).; Yasu Omura, Sr. (R, PB); Nemi Shah, Sr. (PH); Dan Nytko, SR. (FX,V); Kentu Sa-Vage, Sr. (PH, FX, PH, V, PB); Jake Nytko, Jr. (AA).
Newcomers: Ethan Hartowicz, JR. (AA); Tommy Valadez, Sr. (R,V).
Lost from last season: Tom Jansen, Kenji Fukuda, Chris Jiminez and Kensei Yee
Outlook: The Grens will need to replace Fukuda, who was conference champ in the pommel horse. They still hope to top the 120 mark with a group of talented specialists
Coach: Mason Vernon
Returning gymnasts: David Jackowski, Sr., (AA); Alex Baratta, Sr., (FX, SR, PB, HB); Matt Korff, Sr., ( FX, V, PB, HB); Jordan Graff, Sr.( FX, V, PB, HB); Austin Kasper, Sr. (FX, SR, V); Roely Barber, Sr. (PH) ; Cody Knight, Sr., (PH).
Newcomers: Paul Yang, Sr. (PH); Dean Stoyanov, Jr., (PB); Matt Swanson, Jr. (FX, V); Matt Horn, Sr., (PH, PB, HB).
Lost from last season: Dan Urban, Tommie Reynolds, and Latif Graves
Outlook: The Huskies will battle Buffalo Grove for the conference title thanks to the strength of their floor and vault squads. If the Huskies can pick up some points on the other four events this year, they could qualify for state.
Coach: Randy Smith
Returning gymnasts: Chris Klein, Sr. (AA); Mark "Ringo" LaRock, Jr., (AA); Tim Pappas, Sr. (V,R,PB, HB, FX); Matt Strafaci, Sr.(AA).
Newcomers: Pat Backus, Jr., (AA); John Schoonmaker, Jr., (PH).
Lost from last season: Matt Muniz
Outlook: The Knights return three state qualifiers in Klein, LaRock and Pappas. But lack of depth could hold them back this season.
Coach: Michael Costa
Returning gymnasts: Matt Crigler, Sr. (AA); Sean Fitzpatrick, Sr. (AA); Sam Friedman, Sr. (PH).
Newcomers: Conor Thomas, So. (R,FX,V)
Lost from last season: Joey Caprio
Outlook: The Mustangs need a healthy Crigler to keep them in contention in the East.
Mid Suburban West
Coach: Rob DeFano
Returning gymnasts: Christian Sellars, Sr. (FX,V,PB,HB); Nick Divito, Sr. ( AA)
Lost from last season: Nolan Presmyk, PJ Prewitt
Outlook: The Broncos will look to crack the 120 mark behind Sellars and Devito.
Coach: Mike Opsal
Returning gymnasts: Brian Reedy, Sr., (AA); Joey Mauk, Sr., (AA); Blake Rossdeutcher, Jr., (AA); Matthew Poczatek, Sr., (SR); Josh Hoppe, Sr., (FX,V,HB); Zack Davis, Sr., (SR, HB,V); Brandon Metcalf, Sr., (SR,PB); Paolo Cipriano, Sr., (PH); Shane Fessenden, Sr. (AA).
Newcomers: Elias Gardner, So., (FX,V)
Lost from last season: Nick Overby, Tommy Palm, Billy Belmonte, Rashad Frazier, Philip Schorsch and Zack Morris
Outlook: The Cougars will be looking to grab the West conference title behind Reedy, Mauk and Rossdeutcher. Opsal also has talented specialists in Poczatek, Hoppe, Davis, Metcalf and Sipriano.
Coach: Tim Hamman
Returning gymnasts: C.J. Patton, Sr., (AA); Cam Hewett, Sr., (FX); Anthony Langas, Sr., (PH); Noah Ciborowski, So., (AA); Doug Leatherman, So., (AA).
Newcomers: Dan Classon,Fr,, (AA).
Lost from last season: Bobby Wongkamalasai, Quinton Bley, Itaru Wakabayashi
Outlook: Patton, who was second in the state in the pommel horse leads a young and inexperienced team. If Hamm can get Ciborski, Leatherman and Classon used to the grueling competition, the Vikings can make a huge move.
Coach: Ryan B. Brown
Returning gymnasts: Jake Santiago, Sr. (AA); Avrey Johnson, Sr. (AA);
Newcomers: Michael Rodriguez, Sr. (AA); Andres Cueva, Jr. (AA); Isaiah Pacheco, Jr. (AA); Bartosz Widelak, So., (AA).
Lost from last season: Kyle Santiago, Nick Cannella, Neo Fernandez, Josh Parado, Marc Malinowski and Steven Simmons.
Outlook: TheHawks are coming off their best season in years and look to improve on their 138.40 score from last year. Jake Santiago, who qualified for state last year in the parallel bars and vault along with Avrey Johnson lead a talented group of all-arounders.
Coach: Scott Hagel
Returning gymnasts: Ben Dibuz, Sr. (AA); Jonah Hinz, Sr., ( AA); Austin Hoening, Sr., (AA); Pratik Patel, Sr., (PH); Lucas Price, Sr., (AA); Miguel Rodriguez, Sr., (PH).
Newcomers: Jeremy Becker , Sr., (PH); Matt Cullum, Jr., (AA); Nate Harris, Sr. , (FX, V), Niko Martino, Jr., (AA); Conner McCall, Sr. (AA); Denzel Taylor, Sr.,( FX, SR, V).
Lost from last season: Mike Jankovec, (state qualifier on FX, SR, V, PB, HB), Matt Lee (state qualifier on PH, SR, PH, HB), Kevin Weir (state qualifier on V)
Outlook: Hinz, who was third in the state in the all-around will lead a senior-dominated squad. Hagel will need to replace Jankovec, Lee and Wier if they want to return to state this year. Hagel picked up his 100th career win last week.
Coach: Erik Bostrom
Returning gymnasts: Elliot Lam, Sr., (AA); Tyler Wilkerson, Sr., (PH, HB); Jason Bethea, Sr., (PB);
Mat Sigler, Jr. (FX, V).
Newcomers: Dylan Rust, Jr., (FX, V)
Lost from last season: James (Mack) McDougall and Chris Stehlin
Outlook: The loss of Stehlin and McDougall, who were 7th and 8th respectively in the conference all-around will be a blow to the Saxons. Lam will help fill some of that void while Wilkerson, Bethea and Sigler could help fill the voids with their specialties.
West Suburban Gold
Coach: Jason Orna
Returning gymnasts: Michael Ruelas, Marcin Machnik, Zach Geneva
Lost from last season: Jethro De Los Reyes, Tyler Fossey, Joey Filskov and Franky Saucedo
Outlook: The eagles are young, with the average experience of just one year. Still, they hope to make a splash in the WSG