South Side gymnastics coach Cheryl Scalice looked at the schedule -- three meets this week in a grueling sport -- turned to her team and posed a question: Who here wants to cancel practice?
The unexpected consensus: Not us, coach.
Here's the story with South Side -- no, they aren't top-tier club gymnasts, who often begin training at a very young age and compete extracurricularly. Yes, they're in Nassau Conference II, which places them squarely in the middle of the pack. But when it comes to drive, goals and production, the Cyclones, led by freshman Bridget Considine and senior Ellen Buchner, are making a big impact.
"We're having success being consistent with everyone scoring near the same," Scalice said. "They work hard. They're not throwing up double backs, , but they've steadily improved in the skills they can perform."
On Friday, they defeated league leader Oceanside, 137.8-135.45, and Considine, in her second year on varsity, earned a career-high 8.5 on floor. The win makes them 6-2 and puts them in shooting distance of the team championship in February, something they narrowly missed last year. The eight teams with the top averages make it, and they're just around the tail end of that list. Not bad for a team that lost five seniors (though they restocked with six more this year).
"They keep pushing and they have the goal in mind," Scalice said. "If you didn't have high school level gymnasts, you wouldn't have high school gymnastics. They make up 70 percent of the kids in the county. They compete because they love what they're doing."