Boys gymnastics: Season preview / Northwest
The Mid-Suburban League boys gymnastics season should be on the rise this season. Schaumburg, which finished sixth in the state last year and has qualified for state in four of the last five years, looks stronger than ever. The Saxons could be joined at the state meet by Rolling Meadows, which hasn't made a state appearance since 1993, and the always competitive Palatine and Hersey squads. The MSL also touts some very talented all-arounders in Schaumburg's Oscar Kulesca, who tied for eighth in the state last year with Rolling Meadows' Ben Kowalski, Hersey's Garrett Naughton, who was 11th in the all-around along with Matt Bednar, who was 18th, are the top returning state finalists.
Buffalo GroveCoach: Zach Crandall
Graduation losses: Bartek Orlowski, Paulie Domian, Dylan Horvath, Dabine Yim, Jared Cihlar, Matt Rivard, Erik Delgado
Top returnees: Michael Bucaro, Sr. (PH); Ben Goldberg, Sr. (AA); Chris Melgoza, Sr. (FX, V, PB, HB); Dan Jubea, Sr. (SR, PB)
Newcomers: Kacper Orlowski, Soph. (FX, V); Jesus Vizcarra, Soph. (PH, SR, PB); Dylan Konefes, Jr. (SR, PB); Andres Melendez, Jr. (PB, HB); Mark Anbinder, Jr. (HB); Bobby McEwen, Jr. (FX, SR, V, HB); Ethan Root, Jr. (PH); Alex Dziadkou, Jr. (PB); Eric Duenser, Jr. (PH, SR, PB, HB).
Outlook: Crandall will continue the Bison formula again this season, which has led Buffalo Grove to success in past seasons. This year it will again be all-arounder Ben Goldberg who will be surrounded with a deep and talented group of specialists. This group is a bit younger and less tested in the past, but Crandall still expects his team to be up to the challenge. "We have a young team with many new members of the varsity," Crandall said. "We will look to these new varsity members to step up and rise to the occasion. We also have solid leadership in Ben Goldberg and we will continually improve all the way to the end."
Elk GroveCoach: Ryan Dengel
Graduation losses: Nico Bahena, Alex Martinez, Justin Ethithara
Top returnees: Jairo Ramirez, Sr., (AA); Griffin McEnroe, Sr., (FX, SR, V, PB & HB); Ted Enolva, Sr., (FX, PH, V, PB); Evan Powell, Jr. (FX, SR, PB, HB)
Newcomers: Nazar Peron, Sr. (SR, PB, HB); Adam Macro, Jr. (AA); Mickey Kelnar, Sr. (FX, V, PB); Dan Duffy, Sr., (FX, SR, V, PB); Francis Encina, Soph., (PH, PB)
Outlook: Dengel has been building a team and a culture at Elk Grove and it is paying dividends for the Grenadiers. Three times last season they were able to hit the 133 mark, tying a seven-year high for the program. This season the Grens look to break through that ceiling. "These kids are really vested in improving much more than winning," Dengel said. "We set high expectations for ourselves and we're really excited to see how we grow as a team. These guys work so hard and we're anxious to see what they can do. We have no gymnasts with any club experience, and many of our gymnasts are two or three-sport athletes."
HerseyCoach: Joon Yun
Graduation losses: Damian Charczuk, Tyler Harris, Evan Johnson, Colton Kamysz, Cameron Kasper, Colton Rivard, Kaleb Sena, Nick Stanczak, Zach Engstrom, Niko Nikolich, Matthew Byrne, Justin Loeung
Top returnees: Matt Bednar, Sr., (AA); Garrett Naughton, Jr., (AA); Will Stefaniak, Sr., (AA)
Newcomers: Sam Prange, Sr. (FX, SR, V, PB); Jonny Herda, Sr. (FX, PH, V, PB); Martel Wheeler, Sr. (FX, SR, V); Adam Skrzypkowski, Jr. (FX, SR, V, PB, HB); Jack Troyer, Jr. (AA); Paul McGuinness, Soph. (FX, V, PB, HB)
Outlook: The Huskies had a solid season last year, scoring a team-high 151.70. Despite that, they just missed qualifying for state. With all-arounders Matt Bednar and Garrett Naughton (13th in state) returning along with Will Stefaniak and a host of specialists, the Huskies look to break through to state for the first time since 2001. "We are going to look to continue to improve scores and hopefully qualify to state as team," Yun said. "The way to do that is by staying clean and perfecting our routines."
ProspectCoach: Julian Basler
Graduation losses: Jack D'Onofrio, Michael Murphy, John Sarabia
Top returnees: Matthew Donzelli, Sr. (AA); Joseph Maret, Sr. (AA); Aiden Busiel, Sr. (FX, V, PB, HB); Aaron Busiel, Sr. (AA); Cole Guagliardo, Jr. (FX, V); Alexander Tkaczyk, Sr. (PH, SR, PB); Declan Halloran, Sr. (SR, HB)
Newcomers: Callahan Kraft, Fr. (AA); Joe Call, Fr. (AA)
Outlook: It is a senior dominated squad for the Knights led by Matt Donzelli, who is a four-year starter and twins Aiden and Aaron Busiel. Prospect also has a pair of freshmen in Callahan Kraft and Joe Call that could help the Knights surge into the 140s. "We need to polish out," Basler said. "We have the skills, we just need to work out our form. The hard part is getting the skills. We just need to have them look good."
Rolling MeadowsCoach: Michael Costa
Top returnees: Ben Kowalski, Sr. (AA); Shivam Patel, Sr. (AA), Ryan Rettig, Soph. (AA); David Rasmussen, Soph. (AA)
Newcomers: Mykail Dukes, Fr., (V, F); Justin Kurak, Fr. (AA)
Outlook: This is the year that Rolling Meadows and Costa have waited for. The Mustangs welcome back MSL all-around champion Ben Kowalski and have surrounded him with other talented all-arounders. David Rasmussen was 12th in the conference all-around while Ryan Rettig was 19th. Costa also has added talented freshman Justin Jurak, who posted a 49.80 in his first meet of the year. Rolling Meadows has not qualified for the state meet since 1993. "We have an enormous amount of potential, we could be a top competitor in the MSL," Costa said. "If the numbers are right and we stay healthy, we could be highly competitive with the top teams in the state."
BarringtonCoach: Rob DeFano
Graduation losses: Braden Detelich, Jack Skyta
Top returnees: Braedon Wever, Jr., (AA); Alex Kim, Sr. , (AA); Westin Stearns, Jr., (FX, PH, HB, PB); Jon Skowron, Jr., (PH, SR)
Outlook: Braedon Wever and Alex Kim both were state qualifiers for the Broncos last year. Barrington posted a season-high 129.50 last year and hopes to top that this season.
ConantCoach: Paul Kim
Graduation losses: Jared Prill, Keyan Mayginnes, Thomas Bongiorno, Himal Patel, Vraj Kharvari
Top returnees: Kyle Jones, Sr. (FX, V); Kyle Jones, Jr. (FX); Caleb Savoy, Sr. (AA); Isaac Lopez-Salgado, Jr. (AA).
Newcomers: Ethan Prill, Jr. (AA); Markus Alvero, Soph. (AA), Kevin Jakala, Jr. (AA).
Outlook: Paul Kim welcomes back a core group that led the Cougars to a 134.75 high score last season. Lopez-Salgado was ninth in the conference last season on the rings. Kim expects a talented group of newcomers to help the Cougars rise this season. "We are looking for continued growth this season," Kim said. "Everyone is there for each other, supporting one another and working hard."
FremdCoach: Jason Brandenburg
Top returnees: Liam Bachman, Sr. (SR, PB); Darien Goodchild, Jr. (AA); Tatsuki Kato, Jr. (FX, V); Yuto Nakagawa, Sr. (AA); Aidan Sciuckas, Jr. (PB); Lukas Styzcen, Sr., (AA); Matthew Walker, Sr. (FX, V, PB)
Newcomers: Dimitar Hristov, Sr. (AA)
Outlook: Bradenburg takes over as head coach of the Vikings this season. He inherits a team that returns all of its members, including Darien Goodchild, who was 13th in the conference in the all-around last year, so optimism is high on Quentin Road. "We have an entirely new coaching staff and we look forward to a great season," Bradenburg said. "We have a very strong core that is committed. We look to improve on last year's finish and hopefully can finish in the top half of a very talented and competitive MSL conference."
Hoffman EstatesCoach: Ryan B. Brown
Graduation losses: Grant Davis
Top returnees: Alex Collier, Jr. (AA); RJ Webster, Sr. (AA); Christian Yabes, Sr. (V, SR)
Newcomers: CJ Cabalfin, Sr. (PH, SR, PB); Justin Munoz, Jr. (SR, PB); Saagar Patel, Jr. (PH, PB, HB); Manny Valencia, Jr. (F, V), Chris Collins, Soph. (F, V, PB, HB); Ivo Dimov, Soph. (PH, PB, HB); Gideon Otto, Jr. (F, V); Adriel Paz, Soph. (AA).
Outlook: The Hawks are coming off a very nice season where they scored a 136.85. Alex Collier, who was sixth in the all-around at conference and finished seventh in the state lead the way for Hoffman, which is looking to move up this season. "We can all improve on multiple levels," Brown said. "Of course I want them to improve their gymnastics skills and scores. Trophies and medals are always great to have but I want them to improve on their problem solving skills."
PalatineCoach: Scott Hagel
Graduation losses: Brain Gaytan, Chris Lunsford, Nick Vlha
Top returnees: Michael Guerrero, Jr. (FX, PH, SR, V); A.J. Krambeer, Jr. (AA); Evan Limberg, Sr. (PH, SR, V, PB, HB); Corey Robinson, Sr. (FX, V)
Newcomers: Dominic Filichia, Fr. (AA); Trey Wilcox, Fr. (AA); Nick DeNatale, Soph. (AA); Will Danielson, Jr. (AA); Trevon Cartwright, Jr. (AA); Jon Tellez, Sr. (FX, PH, SR, PB, HB); Christian Waller, Sr. (SR, PB)
Outlook: The Pirates will look to replace four-year all-arounder Chris Lunsford, who was fourth in conference last year. AJ Karmbeer, who was 10th in the conference all-around last year, will get lots of help with freshmen all-arounders Dominic Filichia and Trey Wilcox coming in this season. The Pirates, who were third in the conference standings last year, look to build off that trio along with a strong group of specialists. "We have two freshmen all-arounders that will help ease the loss of our graduating seniors from last year," Hagel said. "We have to quickly build experience competing on the varsity level. Most of our varsity team members are newcomers to this level. This team can hopefully use the strong foundation left by our recent varsity teams to keep Palatine gymnastics strong over the next four years."
SchaumburgCoach: Erik Bostrom
Graduation losses: Kafar Greer, Sean Kraemer, Wei Ping Lam, Jimmy Minard, Jake Raeside, Tyler Tyndal
Top returnees: Brandon Nyborg, Jr. (AA); Trever Baynes, Jr. (AA); Nathan Frank, Soph. (AA); Oscar Kulesza, Soph. (AA); Trent Ramirez, Sr. (PH)
Newcomers: Brody Adelman, Sr. (AA); Cole Mache, Sr. (FX, V); Giancarlo Sarasti, Jr. (PB); Bruno Gandara, Jr. (FX, V); Adam Serafin, Soph. (AA)
Outlook: Youth didn't mean a thing to the Saxons last season. Schaumburg, which counted 16 of 18 of its scores from Nyborg, Baynes, Frank and Kulesza still had plenty in the tank to win the MSL championship and go on to finish sixth in the state. With a year under their belts and more depth this season, the Saxons could be eying a state trophy. "State is in our scope again this year and we hope to be in contention to place well in our various invites and conference meets," Bostrom said. "After a solid showing at state, but failing to be in medal contention, the boys come back hungry and determined to improve their standing by building on their success. We will have to overcome some nagging injuries and work together to fill some holes, but it is certainly doable to be in the hunt."
West Suburban Gold
LeydenCoach: Bill Cordts
Graduation losses: Gabe Bahena, Firas Harb, Alex Muniz. Hector Rodriguez, Stash Karpiesiuk,
Newcomers: Matt Hernandez, Jr. (AA); Gil Bahena, Soph. (AA)
Outlook: After a solid season last year where Leyden scored 124.60 and finished second in the WSC Gold, Cordts and the Eagles will have to start all over after graduation decimated the program. Cordts will look to Hernandez along with Gil Bahena, whose brother Gabe was a leader for three seasons. "We had a good year last year and lack varsity experience this year," said Cordts, who has 30 gymnasts in his program to build from. "That will give a lot of young men an opportunity to step up to the challenge and earn those spots. We are looking to improve as a team and find leaders to guide us in the years to come."