Evanston Township High School is not known for its girls gymnastics teams – their last top-ten finish in the state was a fifth-place finish in 1976-77. But they are an up-and-coming team with the potential to get back to the glory days of the late 1970s, when they had two top-ten State finishes.
Regardless of the outcome, head coach Chester Jones says, “We enjoy all our meets. Each one brings on new challenges to watch and learn from. … Every gymnast looks at how a skill may be performed, and that encourages them to try to add to or modify what they are doing.” Regarding this year’s performance, he said, “We really need to clean up our body positions more than anything,”
At their Jan. 5 meet, the Wildkits lost to Maine South 137.25-120.55. “I can’t say that [the Maine South meet] went badly, but the score did not reflect the way we did. I thought the routines were good and the girls did well,” said the coach.
At the Evanston Invite on Jan. 9, the Kits finished eighth out of ten teams, scoring 120.12 points. Sophomores Michelle Fraiser, Lauren Nortz, seniors Colleen Harper, Claire Wagner and Corrine Sondak scored points at that meet.
“Frazier and Nortz are the score leaders right now, but the leaders of the team are my seniors, Harper, Sondak and Wagner,” said the coach.
Coach Jones says the goal for the rest of the season is to continue to strive for the 125-point mark in all remaining meets. “To reach this goal we have to add the skills we have been working on and make them count in the routines by believing in the fact that the girls can complete them. New skills are always tough to add to the existing routine.”
The Kits’ average point total is approximately 120 points per meet. “We started low last year and stayed low, scoring less than 120 points last year at this point [in the season], and we were up and down each meet. We have continued to stay at the 120-point mark this year and I like that,” said Coach Jones. “Just stay in there until postseason time, and we will end well, I believe.”
The Kits are scheduled to visit New Trier on Jan. 19, the day this paper goes to press. Their remaining schedule includes a visit to Niles West on Jan. 23 and participation in the Central Suburban League Conference meet at Glenbrook South on Jan. 29. Regionals are held during the week of Feb. 1, and the 18-team Stevenson Sectional begins Feb. 9.
“I’m lucky to have these girls out for the team and know that they give their all for the team. Even when they are down, they give what they have for their school and the competitions. I thank them for that,” said Coach Jones.
If the Kits are able to continue giving all they have to the team, there is no telling where they will end up in the years to come.