Starting Fresh, One Split at a Time

By: Michael Nerantzis
Leesburg VA- The first season of Tuscarora gymnastics was a building block for the future. The team, coached by Meg Upp, a P.E teacher at Tuscarora and first time high school coach, consisted of mostly freshmen, which resulted in quite the learning curve. Led by juniors Jennifer Callen and Kaylie Etheridge, the season was successful in the sense that everyone improved upon their abilities. At this month’s pep rally, the team was scheduled to close out the event after the cheerleading team, a tough act to follow. At the start, they circled the mat pumping up the crowd before showing them their flawless cartwheels and assorted flips. Each athlete on the team had finesse and the stunts got harder as the show went on. After the team was finished they bowed to the crowd and walked off the court. Little did anyone know that the best part of the show was still in store. Suddenly, Eli Reid, a freshman at Tuscarora and manager of the gymnastics team, ran on the mat. He did a great cartwheel and plopped down into the splits, holding his hands up in triumph. The crowd went absolutely crazy and made a deafening noise so loud you could barely hear yourself talk. “That was so freaking awesome!” screamed a voice from behind me. It was a perfect ending to a great show.
As the season comes to a close, the team looks ahead to next year where they will be more experienced and better prepared for what the season will throw at them. One thing is for certain though, nothing will be able to top the split that Eli did at the pep rally.