Farewell To The Seniors

What better way to finish Senior Night than with a huge win against the Naval Academy 411.35 – 406.15 with the 5 up 5 count format? The entire team is so grateful for everything all the seniors have done. Even though each one had a junior talk for them at the beginning of the meet, I would like to say my own thing to each senior myself.

James Hennin:

            Even though you have been here the shortest amount of time, your impact on the team has been great. You come with the most experience out of anyone on the team (you old hag) and you don’t hide it either. Your gymnastics abilities are far beyond most of our teammates and you rub it off by specifically correcting others and leading by example. Even though you are the only member of this team not from the United States (for those who don’t know, James is from New Zealand), you have no problem fitting in with everyone. I hope you stay close to Springfield and return often as we will miss you.

Kyle Reasoner:

            You have proven that hard work really does pay off. You’ve overcome countless injuries and obstacles, not made team, made team again, and finally broke into lineup. You show others that cleanliness is key in gymnastics over and over again by consistently scoring mid and high 13’s on floor. You are coming to Springfield for graduate school next year and it will be nice to be able to see you everyday. Who could possibly replace your voice saying “lock it out” or “keep it classy?”

Garrett Desantis:

            After 2 weeks at West Point, you left and decided you were going to come to Springfield instead. I can speak for the entire team when I say we’re glad you did. I met you after those two weeks at Coach Posner’s Elite Gymnastics Camp as my roommate there and I honestly did not know how well we would end up getting along in the future. You bring an atmosphere to the gym that no one else ever could and you always know how to lighten the mood. It’s very rare to see you in a bad mood and your positive vibes put others in high spirits. You’re sticking around next year too, and I hope your presence around the team doesn’t change.

Ryan Ponce:

            You show the team how to lead by example. You are an amazing captain and have helped me so much inside as well as outside of the gym. I also met you at Coach Posner’s Elite Gymnastics Camp, but as one of the instructors when I was still in high school. I knew right away that you cared about my gymnastics even though it did not affect you. You still show that now as you are our teammates biggest supporter no matter what. Just as the juniors said on Saturday, even though everyone on the team has to look down to you, we all look up to you. I want to wish you the best of luck in graduate school following your passion of nutrition.

Pat Hanley:

            Not only have you been my teammate for the 2 years I’ve been here at Springfield, you’ve been my teammate since I joined the Ellis Gymnastics boys’ team in 3rd grade. You’ve overcome some amazing things in your life. From originally going to college in Chicago for music, transferring to Springfield (and not even thinking you were going to make the team), to making the team, making lineup, and now becoming captain of this team. You should be proud of yourself because I know I am. You have always been one of my greatest friends, and I hope we stay that way for years to come. Since we are both applied exercise science majors, I annoyed you with endless questions about classes, teachers, internships, certifications, etc. and you were always happy to help. You’ve learned so much over the years and have taught me as well along the way and I cannot thank you enough. I would say I’ll miss you, but you have to deal with me for another 2 years while you’re at grad school. 

            I am just one of many who will show their appreciation to our seniors as the weeks go on. These are our brothers and they will always be considered family. As they leave, we gain new freshmen along the way. We don’t replace our seniors, but instead just make more room for them in our Springfield family.


Adjusting To The Rules

This week poses a unique challenge for a lot of gymnasts on the team. With new NCAA rules implemented last year, half way through our season the format changes from 6 gymnasts up on every event and the top 5 scores counting to 5 gymnasts up on every event and all 5 scores counting. This poses a problem for the last 2 or 3 gymnasts on each event because they are fighting for that final spot.

This allows the guys on the team to not only compete against the teams every weekend but to compete against one another in the gym. With this 5 up, 5 count format, a hit routine is absolutely necessary because whatever score you receive from the judges has to count towards the team score. This little competition between teammates is creating an unreal environment in the gym. Although everybody wants to beat each other out for that 5th spot on the event, we still cheer each other on because we would prefer to have team success over individual success.

The choice which Coach Posner has to make when it comes to the lineup will be a difficult one. This week, we have the comeback of Ian Stratton to the all-around competition as he is coming off of his second broken ankle in two years. He has begun to do routines on floor and vault these past two weeks. Also, we look forward to seeing freshman DJ Carr hopefully break into lineup after an absence from the team for the first half of the semester. Carr likes to entertain the crowd with his sky-high front handspring double front on vault, which starts .8 higher than any other vault on the team.

With these rule changes approaching along with finals, I can speak for everyone on the team that we are looking forward to a week away from school work during spring break. Over spring break, 16 members of the team will stay on campus while the others will be allowed to go home and relax for the week. The 16 gymnasts that stay on campus are decided by whether or not they have a chance to compete as ECAC championships approach.

ECAC’s are just a few weeks away and Coach Posner, along with the assistant coaches, have created a practice schedule that allows us to peak the week of the ECAC competition. This practice schedule includes a number of 3 on 3’s and 2 on 3’s, which is when we do 2 or 3 routines on at least 3 different events. Next weekend, we have our first off weekend of the entire season. The team looks forward to that weekend in order to give our bodies a rest. The season is coming to an end and it looks like it is going to be a close one between all the teams in our conference. With this new 5 up, 5 count format, anything could happen.

Look forward to the next blog as I will discuss how the first competition of 5 up, 5 count lays out, and what the members of the team will look forward to doing with our week off of competition!

A True Team

Coming off of a HUGE win against Temple University Sunday night, we left Philadelphia wanting more. It was tough having a day off that following Monday; all we wanted to do was hit more skills and routines just like we did against Temple at the meet.

The meet started off rough on pommel horse, but we picked it back up on the floor exercise although we only had five floor gymnasts in the line-up, so all scores had to count towards the team. We showed real team camaraderie throughout the meet by picking it up after pommel horse.  This sparked my interest in how the men’s gymnastics team compares to other teams on campus and around the country.

We come in freshman year and are immediately taken in by not only a team, but also a family. Not only do we practice together six nights a week, we also eat dinner as a team afterwards along with eat a combined lunch with the men and women’s team. Even outside of the gym and cafeteria most of us are with other teammates. For instance, we have many gymnasts that live together: myself  and Conor Galvin, Nick Jama and Eric Espejo, Ryan Ponce and Pat Hanley, while Kyle Reasoner, Andy Grabowski, Sam Docherty, Billy Chin, and Brian Cogan all live in a suite style dorm.

Because of the amount of time we spend with each other, we create life-long friendships that allow us to really know more about our teammates than most other non-athletes know about their best friends. We stand behind our teammates athletically, academically, and, most important, emotionally. When someone is sad, your teammates give you a shoulder to lean on, when someone is mad, your teammates are there to calm you down, and when someone is happy, your teammates are there for you to spread your positivity.

The Springfield College men’s gymnastics team has the greatest team chemistry of any team I have ever seen, and we prove it on the floor at every single meet. This is why we are so successful, and we won’t take failure as an option.


A Trip To Navy

            After seven hours of driving, the Springfield College men’s gymnastics team finally landed itself in Annapolis, Maryland on Friday night for the Navy Open. Many of the same teams that competed in the West Point Open the previous weekend would also be competing at the United States Naval Academy this weekend.

The teams Springfield would be competing against were the College of William and Mary, Temple University, Penn State University, and the home team, Navy.

We started off on the pommel horse with a strong showing. Every competitor fought to stay on the horse and started off the meet in excellent fashion. Although the team suffered some bumps, bruises, and falls along the way, we showed up to finish off the meet in excellent fashion on the floor exercise, just as we started. Sophomore Tucker McClure was the last competitor to go and hit a beautiful routine to score himself a 13.55.

Springfield finished 5th with a team score of 391.8. After two meets of not reaching our potential, we look to improve on our team score this weekend at Temple University with the United States Air Force Academy by breaking the 400 mark for team score. GO SPRINGFIELD!

Opening Weekend In West Point

Welcome to the first blog post for the Springfield College men’s gymnastics 2014 season! I’m Tim Lebbossiere, a sophomore gymnast out of Braintree, Massachusetts. Every week I will be recapping the practices, competitions, and events that occur during the week. It starts off this week after our two-day season opener at the West Point Military Academy for the West Point Open.

Ryan Ponce

After two weeks of two-a-day practices, we entered the meet feeling confident. We finished this competition in 6th place with a score of 388.95. Halfway through the competition, our energy  dropped during the floor exercise when freshman Nick Jama suffered an injury. We came together as a team to come back with a strong second half which was highlighted with senior Ryan Ponce and senior Pat Hanley’s ring routines, which put them in the second day of competition for finals along with sophomore Jon Zirna on the pommel horse and parallel bars.

Zirna finished 4th on the pommel horse (13.5) and 5th on the parallel bars (13.65). Hanley finished 4th on the still rings with a score of 14.55. Ryan Ponce took home his second consecutive still ring title with a score of 15.3. The Springfield College gymnastics team looks to improve on our season opener as we head to the United States Naval Academy for the Navy Open.

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