By Olivia Byrnes and Marissia Potamianos
For the ninth consecutive year under coach Tracey Fishkin, the Jamesville-DeWitt High School and Fayetteville-Manlius High School Rammets Varsity Gymnastics Team have won their sectional championship. This sectional meet was held at the CNY gymnastics gym in Shoppingtown Mall on Friday, Oct. 25. The 18 out of the 19 gymnasts qualified and went to sectionals.
Since 1976 the team has won 15 sectional championships. In this year’s sectionals the Rammets competed against over 10 teams and beat their rivals Whitesboro. Coach Fishkin said that their hard work and determination everyday is what led to their success. The gymnastic team members all agreed that sectionals was a great experience. “My sectional experience was very fun. I loved it and I will never forget it,” said J-D eighth grader Abby Baumgartner. One reason is because she got her personal best on the beam.
Their strongest event was the balance beam because it is the easiest to qualify in. Throughout the season Fishkin emphasized beam events because she knew that her gymnasts could make sectionals in this event. J-DHS junior Cheyenne Danforth said that vault is the least common event for the Rammets to compete in at sectionals because of its difficulty, but several girls still managed to qualify.
Not only did the team win the sectional title but they also went undefeated in their season and the team owes it to the coach. “Coach Fishkin is really supportive and encourages us,” said J-DHS sophomore Anyi Liebler-Bendix. Danforth also said that the coach made the team feel more like a whole instead of two separate groups. J-D team members agreed that having girls from FM was cool and it was fun to make new friends. “It feels like one team, one school, everyone gets along,” said J-DHS senior Taylor Riley.
Four of the Rammets are going on to compete in the state competition in March. This year there are more girls going to states than previous years and the Rammets take up most of the state team. Taylor Riley will be accompanied by her sister, Peyton Riley, who is an eighth grader at Jamesville DeWitt Middle School as is Sanya Glaube. The final member is FM gymnast and Coach Fishkin’s daughter Taylor Fishkin.
Even though they have a young team they’re losing a couple of seniors, one of them, Captain Taylor Riley. Liebler-Bendix said “We’re losing one of our best team members, Taylor Riley, so it’ll be interesting (next season) but I think we’ll do fine.” Taylor Riley was not only a great leader during the season, but a strong competitor that contributed greatly to the teams success agreed coach and team members. “It was great working with the seniors, it was very exciting.” said Baumgartner. “With the bond and the hard work I believe that we should be very successful next year as well,” Coach Fishkin said.
“They all worked extremely hard all season and I was very proud of each and every one of them.” said Coach Fishkin. Jamesville-DeWitt athletic director John Goodson agrees. He said the Rammets had an “outstanding” season and he is very proud of every girl on the team.