A tale of two teams: North and South combine gymnastics program

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Drey McGrew

The girl's gymnastics team faces off against the Morton Mustangs

This upcoming season will be an interesting one for the girl’s gymnastics program at Downers Grove South. Not only has it been combined with the girl’s gymnastics team from Downers Grove North, but the team has gained more roster spots which allows for more talent. Girls from both teams must adjust to this new change.

Head coach Kristyn Campos shares her feelings towards coaching athletes from both schools in the 2019-2020 season.

“Coaching girls from both schools is no different than coaching them from one school. Every girl on the team loves gymnastics and is dedicated to putting forth their effort to be a better gymnast. Honestly, I had no real idea which school the girls went to the first couple of weeks; we don’t look at our team as DGN or DGS, we are just Downers Grove Gymnastics,” Campos said.

Campos is heading into her 13th year as the head coach of the girl’s gymnastics team and already has goals for this upcoming season.

“We would like to show improvement on each of our events, win conference and advance as a team to the sectional competition,” Campos said.

Junior Julia Grippo has been on Downers Grove South’s gymnastics team since her freshman year and shares how the combination of both teams is affecting her thus far.

“For me, I feel like there is more competition now since there are more girls. I also feel like there is now a need for team bonding because not everyone knows each other as well,” Grippo said.

Grippo also stated that the gymnastics team has improved from last year due to the co-op.

“I feel like we are a lot better this year because of the co-op because there are now more girls with more experience coming from both schools so it makes us better overall,” Grippo said.

Senior Lauren Lucina, an athlete who is on the co-op gymnastics team but goes to Downers Grove North shares her viewpoint on the combination of the team and how it has affected her.

“Combining both North and South was a weird transition all around but everyone has gotten more used to it at this point in the season. It was difficult to lose my old coach and the old gym at North before my last season of gymnastics but I’m happy that we even have a team,” Lucina said.

Despite losing the old facility and head coach, that hasn’t stopped Lucina from setting big goals for herself this season.

“My goals for this season are to have the best last season of high school gymnastics and hopefully make it to state as a whole team,” Lucina said.

The change combining the North and South girls gymnastics team is not permanent, although being aware of this, Coach Campos and the team aren’t concerned for the future; they only care about what this season has in store for them.

“The co-op contract with the IHSA is for two years but could be dissolved next year if a coaching staff is found. We are not focusing on any time in the future, it is really about what we can do now that is important to us,” Campos said.