by Matt Cosentino | Aug 26, 2014
Gymnastics ...From the pages of Suburban Family Magazine's Fall High School Sports Preview...

Cherokee Chiefs
Players to watch: Junior Kennedy Ilagan is the top returner for the Chiefs after earning all-South Jersey honors in floor for the second straight year, as she finished fourth in the event at sectionals. She also placed fourth in the all-around at the Olympic Conference Championships. Also back are juniors Lea Hawthorne and Lauren Stevens and sophomore Samantha Moreno. Coach Brian Moore is also excited about the addition of freshmen Paige Rhoads and Maddie Fearon, a pair of high-level gymnasts that will help make up for key losses to graduation.

Outlook: The Chiefs graduated a strong senior class from a team that went 4-4 and placed fifth at sectionals. They’ll look to remain competitive behind Ilagan and their up-and-coming gymnasts.

Lenape Indians
Players to watch: Lenape suffered heavy losses from last year’s team, as former South Jersey all-around champion Marissa Toci graduated and junior Ally Wesoly, who took sixth in the state in the all-around last year, moved to North Carolina. One of the key returners is junior Caroline Nestor, who took eighth in the all-around at the Olympic Conference Championships. She was also fourth on bars and ninth on beam in the conference. Senior Melissa Friedhoff is another important veteran for the Indians. Other returning seniors are Kayah Frable, Gabriela Mills and Lizzy Reid, while the junior class includes Brooke Nestord, Ashley Terry and Aliya Wright. Kayla Dougherty is a sophomore who gained varsity experience as a freshman.

Outlook: Lenape went 6-4 and placed fourth at sectionals last year after winning the South Jersey title in 2012. Wesoly would have been one of the top gymnasts in the state, but the Indians will move on with a solid returning group.

Seneca Golden Eagles
Players to watch: The Golden Eagles graduated their top gymnast from a year ago in Jessi Van Horn as well as co-captain Jordan Powelson, but the rest of the squad returns, including senior Jodi Schauer (pictured), the team leader who will serve as this year’s captain. Also back is a pair of promising sophomores in Brittney Raffo and Jaylyn Gardner. Raffo placed eighth on vault at the Olympic Conference Championships and competed at sectionals along with Schauer, while Gardner took eighth on beam in the conference. They’re joined by juniors Emily Gardner and Gabriella Magasic and sophomore Brianna Brida.

Outlook: Seneca finished 4-7 in 2013, a three-win improvement from the year before, and hopes to keep making progress as a team this fall.

Shawnee Renegades
Players to watch: The Renegades lost two of the top gymnasts in South Jersey as seniors Danielle Doolin and Delaney Cahill have decided to focus on their club team and will not be part of the program this year, according to coach Jim Baker. Doolin captured the Olympic Conference all-around title as a junior, as she was the conference champ on vault, beam and floor. She also took 10th in the all-around at states and second in the all-around at sectionals. Cahill, a former state champion on bars, just missed her second straight sectional title in the event. She finished second in South Jersey and third in the all-around, and was also second behind Doolin in the all-around at the conference meet. Without that pair, leading the way for Shawnee are senior Allie Kirkwood, who placed 10th on bars in the conference, and junior Elena Pomarici, who took 10th on beam. Baker also expects several other returning gymnasts to make progress, and the Renegades will welcome three to four newcomers with club experience.

Outlook: The 2013 season was full of highlights for Shawnee, which went 8-1, just missed out on the South Jersey championship and finished 11th in the state. The Renegades hope to remain competitive in the conference despite the losses of Doolin and Cahill.

Washington Township Minutemaids
Players to watch: The Minutemaids have a solid returning nucleus led by juniors Micaela Coltellaro and Abby Haley. Coltellaro placed seventh in the all-around at the Olympic Conference Championships as she finished in the top 10 of every event. Haley took fourth on beam and ninth on floor in the conference. Other juniors to watch include Taylor Corson and Kelsey Mountford, while Casey Hubbard and Alexandra Fulginiti are returning sophomores.

Outlook: The Minutemaids have posted back-to-back 1-7 seasons after owning the South Jersey title for six straight years. But most of last year’s young team returns and they should make progress as a team. –M.C.

Gymnastics Schedules

Cherokee Chiefs
9/11 at Seneca, 5 p.m.
9/18 at Washington Township, 5 p.m.
9/23 at Shawnee, 4 p.m.
9/26 vs. Lenape, 5 p.m.
10/7 at Lenape, 5 p.m.
10/10 vs. Seneca and Saint Joseph, 5 p.m.
10/17 vs. Washington Township, 5 p.m.
10/23 vs. Shawnee, 5 p.m.

Lenape Indians

9/16 at Seneca, 5 p.m.
9/18 vs. Shawnee, 5 p.m.
9/26 at Cherokee, 5 p.m.
9/30 at Washington Township, 5 p.m.
10/2 at Hunterdon Central, 5 p.m.
10/7 vs. Cherokee, 5 p.m.
10/9 vs. Washington Township, 5 p.m.
10/14 at Shawnee, 4 p.m.
10/16 vs. Saint Joseph, 5 p.m.
10/21 vs. Seneca, 5 p.m.
10/29 at Cherokee, 5 p.m.
11/4 at Seneca, 5 p.m.

Seneca Golden Eagles
9/11 vs. Cherokee, 5 p.m.
9/16 vs. Lenape, 5 p.m.
9/23 at Washington Township, 5 p.m.
9/30 at Shawnee, 4 p.m.
10/7 vs. Shawnee, 5 p.m.
10/10 at Cherokee, 5 p.m.
10/14 vs. Washington Township, 5 p.m.
10/21 at Lenape, 5 p.m.
10/23 vs. Hammonton, 5 p.m.
10/29 at Cherokee, 5 p.m.

Shawnee Renegades
9/11 at Washington Township, 5 p.m.
9/18 at Lenape, 4 p.m.
9/23 vs. Cherokee, 4 p.m.
9/30 vs. Seneca, 4 p.m.
10/2 at Hunterdon Central, 4 p.m.
10/7 at Seneca, 5 p.m.
10/14 vs. Lenape, 4 p.m.
10/21 at Washington Township, 5 p.m.
10/23 at Cherokee, 5 p.m.

Washington Township Minutemaids
9/11 vs. Shawnee, 5 p.m.
9/18 vs. Cherokee, 5 p.m.
9/23 vs. Seneca, 5 p.m.
9/30 vs. Lenape, 5 p.m.
10/9 at Lenape, 5 p.m.
10/14 at Seneca, 5 p.m.
10/17 at Cherokee, 5 p.m.
10/21 at Shawnee, 5 p.m.

Photo: Seneca’s Jodi Schauer

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Fall Sports Preview, July, 2014.
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Author: Matt Cosentino


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