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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WA Gymnastics prepares to leap into the upcoming season

Provided by WA Gymnastics
WA Gymnastics poses for a photo after the 2023 DCL tournament.

As the Thanksgiving weekend passes and winter approaches, so does the beginning of the winter sports season at Westford Academy. This signals the start of practices for all winter sports teams, including the WA gymnastics team.

WA Gymnastics is coached by Stephanie Coburn and led by three senior captains: Karina Wills, Leah Spinney, and Maggie Murphy. Coburn and the captains are excited and prepared to lead their team through what they hope will be a successful season. 

Wills, Spinney, and Murphy are all very skilled and committed athletes that have shown their enthusiasm for the sport and dedication to the team. They are each excited to bring their own unique perspectives and leadership skills to be able to create and conduct a stronger and more unified team. 

“It’s [important to] make sure to keep the team’s morale up and just be really positive. Everyone’s rooting for each other, and bringing each other up,” Spinney said. “It doesn’t always matter how you perform, but it’s how you can pick yourself up and then compete at the next event that really matters.” 

As for the pre-season training, the team’s first meet isn’t until January 10th, which gives them plenty of time to practice and prepare both mentally and physically for the upcoming competitions. The team gathers to practice twice a week, normally on Tuesdays and Thursdays at All-Star Gymnastics Center in Chelmsford. 

“More than half of the team is made up of year-round gymnasts that also compete in club teams year round,” Coburn said. “So, we try and keep the high school practices short which allows the year-round gymnasts to do high school safely.”  

The team is adding five new freshmen for this season. Every few years, the team tends to have lower numbers than usual when it comes to the total number of gymnasts on the team. On average, they typically have 16 to 20 members, but this season they only have eight returning members, and 13 total.

Although the team’s numbers are not as high as they usually are, they focus more on the quality of the athletes than the quantity, and the team has some very strong athletes this year.

“If everyone stays healthy, we should have very strong individual events,” Coburn said.

Last season, the team qualified for sectionals for the 15th consecutive season, which is an accomplishment they are very proud of. This season, the team’s DCL Championship meet is on February 8th, and after that they have postseason competitions, including individuals and sectionals.

The team also had two gymnasts qualify for the New England State Championships last season. Murphy broke several records, and currently holds four out of the five records for WA Gymnastics. The other was Spinney.

“[As a team], we hope to just have fun this season and just win a couple of meets, but also work on building the team, the community as a whole, and make it stronger,” Murphy said. 

Murphy, as well as the other captains, has very high hopes and goals that they aim to accomplish both for themselves and the team this season. 

“This season, my goal is to keep everyone healthy and to end our season with multiple individual accomplishments at the Individual State Championship,” Coburn said. “Also, with a smaller team, we look forward to building a strong team relationship, striving to do our best at each and every competition.”

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Scarlett Barnes
Scarlett Barnes, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Scarlett Barnes and I’m a sophomore staff writer for the Westford Academy Ghostwriter. This is my first year in journalism. I play sports year round at WA; cross country in the fall, swim and dive in the winter, and track and field in the spring. In my free time I really enjoy going on runs, listening to music, and reading books. I am really looking forward to my first year of journalism and all the new experiences I will make being a part of the Ghostwriter. 

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