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updated: 3/18/2014 4:13 PM

Boys gymnastics: Scouting Northwest

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  • Senior all-arounder Matt Swanson of Hersey figures to be one of the Mid-Suburban League's top competitors this season. Here, Swanson spins through a vault effort during last week's MSL East vs. West meet at Barrington.

      Senior all-arounder Matt Swanson of Hersey figures to be one of the Mid-Suburban League's top competitors this season. Here, Swanson spins through a vault effort during last week's MSL East vs. West meet at Barrington.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

By Dick Quaglinao
Daily Herald Correspondent

Scouting boys gymnastics

Change will be the theme this year in boys gymnastics.

First will be the scoring system, as teams adapt from the old high school system to the United States Gymnastics Association Level 9 rules.

The next change will be the location of the state finals. Gone is the long drive to Frankfort and Lincoln-Way East, as qualifying teams and individuals will head to Hinsdale Central May 16 and 17.

The final change, sadly, is the loss of official gymnastics scorekeeper Al Goodman from Conant, who passed away last year.

Teams to watch: Conant, after finishing second in a state a year ago, lost the core of their team but still have the talent to get back to state. Buffalo Grove, which was eighth in the state last year, looks to build on that success. Hoffman Estates has an experienced squad led by a group of seniors that could challenge for a state bid.

Individuals to watch: Tyler Cho, Buffalo Grove; Mark LaRock, Prospect; Steve Pauley, Buffalo Grove; Alan Peralta, Hoffman Estates; Blake Rossdeutcher, Conant; Matt Scislowski, Buffalo Grove; Jake Siebert, Buffalo Grove; Mat Sigler, Schaumburg; Alex Smith, Rolling Meadows; Matt Swanson, Hersey;

Mid Suburban EastBuffalo Grove

Coach: Zack Crandall

Returning gymnasts: Tyler Cho, Jr. (AA); Matt Scislowski, Jr., (PH); Jeff Burns, Sr. (PH, SR, PB); Stevie Gutierrez, Sr. (SR); Steve Pauley, Sr. (FX, V, HB); Jake Siebert, Sr., (SR, V, PB).

Newcomers: Milan Davitkov, Sr., (PH, PB, HB); Yuriy Stelmakh, Sr., (FX, V, PB, HB); Blake Yonan, Sr., (SR, PB); Zach Harris, Jr., (FX, PH, V, PB, HB); Kyle Pollina, Jr., (AA); Bryan Leeb, Jr.,(SR); Sasha Varvaruk, Jr., (FX, V); Justin Zyck, Jr. (PH).

Lost from last year: David Kavalerchik, Kirtan Patel, Zac Halap, Chris Jacob

Outlook: Buffalo Grove, which finished 8th in the state last year, looks to rebound after losing 11 of 18 competitors from a team that made its first state appearance in 33 years. Tyler Cho and Jake Sibert look to balance the Bison this year. "We have a good mix of juniors and seniors on the Varsity this year, so we have a great amount of experience on the team," Crandall said.

Elk Grove

Coach: Bill Watts

Returning gymnasts: Eugene Art, Jr., (AA); Jay Baccay, Jr. , (AA); Bogdan Koval, Jr. (PH,PB); Levi Parks, Jr. (FX,V, R); Matt Puppilo, Jr. (AA); Arnold Aguilar, Sr. (HB); Ethan Hartowicz, Sr. (AA); Marcin Kaczynskim Sr. (R, PH); Jake Nytko, Sr. (AA).

Newcomers: None

Lost from last season: Tom Valadez, Nemi Shah

Outlook: The Grens will be electric again with the return of Bill Watts. The team has a nice mixture of juniors and seniors and could make a run at the MSL East title.


Coach: Mason Vernon

Returning gymnasts: Matt Swanson, Sr. (AA); Justin Ramos, Sr. (AA); Jonathon Phelps, Soph., (FX)

Newcomers: All are specialists: Matt Phelps, Soph; Will Nicholson, Soph; Dylan Vo, Jr.; Eric Williams, Jr.; Angelo Tenerelli, Sr.; Riley Busche, Jr.; Konrad Szczypta, Jr.; Greg Madden, Sr.

Lost from last season: David Jackowski, Alex Baratta, Matt Korff, Sr. Jordan Graff, Austin Kasper, Sr., Roely Barber, Sr., Cody Knight, Sr..

Outlook: Graduation took its toll on the Huskies. Seniors Swanson, who was third in the state in the vault last year and Ramos will be counted on to carry the load with a group of specialists.


Coach: Randy Smith

Returning gymnasts: Mark "Ringo" LaRock, Sr., (AA)

Newcomers: Pat Backus, Jr., (AA); Christian Goekel, Sr. (AA)

Lost from last season: Tim Pappas, Chris Klein, John Schoonmaker

Outlook: With graduation taking its toll, it won't come easy for Ringo LaRock and Knights this year. Depth again will be a factor for them.

Rolling Meadows

Coach: Michael Costa

Returning gymnasts: Alex Smith, Sr. (AA); Conor Thomas, Jr. (AA); Joey Paglia, Soph, (AA).

Newcomers: None

Lost from last season: Matt Crigler

Outlook: The Mustangs will look to rebuild after losing Crigler to graduation.

Mid Suburban WestBarrington

Coach: Rob DeFano

Returning gymnasts: Jeffrey Ryan (AA); Grant Kimes (FX, PH); Alex Schatsick (PB,HB)

Newcomers: None

Lost from last season: Christian Sellars, Nick Divito

Outlook: The Broncos will look to crack the 120 mark this year.


Coach: Mike Opsal

Returning gymnasts: Blake Rossdeutcher, Sr., (AA); Roman Cruz, Sr. (FX, PH, PB, V); Marcus Williams, Sr., FX, R, V); Andrew Inacay, Sr. (FX, PH, V, PB).

Newcomers: Zach Prill, Sr. , (AA); John Raimondo, Jr., (AA)

Lost from last season: Joe Mauk, Brian Reedy, Zack Davis, Josh Hoppe, Brandon Metcalf

Outlook: The Cougars will be looking to fill many positions after their state run last year where they came away with a second-place trophy. Rossdeutcher, who is an all-arounder and qualified for state last year, and group of specialists will be the main lineup for the Cougars this year.


Coach: Tim Hamman

Returning gymnasts: Doug Leatherman, Jr. (AA); Sam Yim, Jr. (R, PB); Noah Ciborowski, Jr., (AA); Dylan DiManno, Sr. (HB, PB); Dan Classon, Soph., (PH, R, HB, PB)

Newcomers: Eric Barnd, Fr., (AA); Ryan Roth, FR., (AA).

Lost from last season: C.J. Patton

Outlook: After losing Patton, the Vikings will have a youth movement. Juniors Leatherman, Yim and Ciborski lead the team while freshmen Barnd and Roth will open some eyes. "We are a young team with only one senior," Hamman said. "The stronger we are this year, the better we will be next year."

Hoffman Estates

Coach: Ryan B. Brown

Returning gymnasts: Andres Cueva-Robles, Sr. (AA); Avrey Johnson, Sr. (AA); Alan Peralta, Sr. (R); Barrtosz Widelak, Jr. (AA); Mustafa Hashim, Jr., (R,PH, PB); Brendan Gorvett, Jr. , (AA); Anthony Halbisch, Soph, (AA).

Newcomers: none

Outlook: Avrey Johnson, who returns form a dislocated ankle, leads a talented group of all-arounders. The Hawks, who suffered key injuries and academic issues, will be able to challenge this year if they can avoid the problems of last. "If they all walked out of the gym right now without ever competing in a single meet, I could still say, with full conviction, this team, this group of seven boys, is the team that I as a coach will always remember," Brown said.


Coach: Scott Hagel

Returning gymnasts: Niko Martino, Sr. (R, PB, HB).

Newcomers: Matt Buffo, Jr. (FX, SR, V, HB); Jack Hallier, Soph. (AA); Daniel Koshy, Jr. (PH, SR, V, PB, HB); Carter McCall, Jr. (PB, HB); Zach Mobille, Jr.(PH, SR); Cole Mueller, Soph., (FX, SR, V, HB); Prakash Nigam, Fr. (AA); Brian Pazdioch, Soph.,(AA); Ryan Perryman, Sr. (FX, V); Bobby Schulte, Jr. (PH); Ethan Sciuckas, Soph. (AA); Matt Wang, Soph. (AA)

Lost from last season: Jeremy Becker, Ben Dibuz, Nate Harris, Austin Hoening, Conner McCall, Pratik Patel, Lucas Price, Miguel Rodriguez, Denzel Taylor.

Outlook: It will be an inexperienced team that Hagel will look to try to get to state this year. The Pirates lost their core from last year, and could be led by freshman Prakash Nigam. "This is the youngest varsity team that I have ever coached," Hagel said.


Coach: Erik Bostrom

Returning gymnasts: Mat Sigler, SR (FX, V, HB); Jonathan Gonzalez, JR (SR, PB); Kyle Reid, JR (FX, V, HB)

Newcomers: Matt Cullum, SR (PH, SR, PB, HB); AJ Hardin, Soph., (AA); Hazen Rice, Soph., (AA).

Lost from last season: Elliot Lam, Jason Bethea, Palak Patel, Tyler Wilkerson

Outlook: The Saxons look to continue their climb with Sigler, Gonzalez and Reid all nice options for Bostrom. Schaumburg got a huge boost when Matt Cullum transferred from Palatine. "Last year being a young team we will be returning with experience under our belts and progress made in our sets.," Bostrom said.

West Suburban GoldLeyden

Coach: Jason Orna

Returning gymnasts: Marcin Machnic (PH); Michael Ruelas (R, PB); Zach Geneva (R, PH< HB); Alexis Vilchez (AA); Fabian Marquez, (AA); George Anderson (AA); Julio Vera (PH); Sal Galvan (PH); Blake Lopez (SR); Jacob Reed, (AA).

Newcomers: None

Lost from last season: None

Outlook: The Eagles look to continue improve from last year where there top score was a 112.45.

Central Suburban NorthMaine West

Coach: Neil Adamson

Returning gymnasts: None

Newcomers: John Paul Hernandez, Sr.; Carl Powasa, Sr.; Jason Ramirez, Jr.; Nathan Spero, Soph.; Alex Damagala, Jr.; Alex Schleiter, Jr.

Lost from last season: None

Outlook: This is the first full season as team for the Warriors, who competed as part of the Maine East co-op last year.

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