Gymnastics team making comeback at Hampton High
By Bethany Hofstetter
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
A group of Hampton High School students are head-over-heels for the chance to finally compete on a school gymnastics team.
By an 8-1 vote last week, the Hampton school board approved the reinstatement of the high school gymnastics program, which was met with applause by the audience of Hampton gymnasts and parents at the school board meeting on Sept. 9.
“I was really excited and happy it was approved,” said Ali Sullivan, a 10th-grader at Hampton High School. “I kind of wanted a school team so I could represent my school … just so I could contribute something to my school and be recognized in my school in some way.”
Sullivan, who is a level-9 gymnast with Pittsburgh Northstars club team, is one of more than a dozen female gymnasts who expressed interest in a district team.
Hampton Township School District had a gymnastics team in the 1970s and 1980s before it disbanded. In recent years, the school district has sponsored individual athletes representing Hampton in WPIAL and PIAA meets. But Athletic Direct Bill Cardone said the time is right to reinstate the team.
“We have a group of girls in ninth, 10th and 11th grade who really want to represent their school district, and be involved in the athletic aspect of it,” Cardone said. “There also are some girls at middle school also involved, so we think the future is good.”
Cardone said there is money in the athletics budget to support a team, and that the district would need to hire a coach before the season starts on Nov. 18. He hopes to recommend a coach for board approval as early as next month.
Ali's mother, Michelle Sullivan, of Hampton, said she helped to provide Cardone with options for gymnastics' facilities and cost estimates to establish a team. Final cost estimates were not available from the district.
“We've done a lot of work over the past year to pull all the information we needed to pull together to really justify having the team,” Sullivan said.
Larry Vasko, school board member and finance chairperson, said the potential costs were the only reason he voted “no” to reinstating the gymnastics team.
“I fully am in favor of gymnastics as a sport … my problem is a money issue,” Vasko said. “We raised taxes this year. I assume we're moving to raise taxes next year. This can be done as a club sport and I fully support that. It's tough to keep telling people we're raising taxes.”
Gymnastics is a winter sport and will run from Nov. 18 through the WPIAL championships and finals on Feb. 8. Practices and home meets will be held at Jewart's Gymnastics, in Hampton.
“I'm in the business for kids, and I think any opportunity we can provide our kids not only to represent themselves and their school district is a great thing,” Cardone said. “I'm looking forward to it.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hampton considers adding guidance counselor at high school
- Absenteeism of North Hills School Board member causes concern
- Pine-Richland officials look to improve curriculum consistency
- Vincentian Academy looks at expansion plans
- All that Jazz Shaler North Hills Library hosting concert
- Annual North Hills Interfaith Gathering to celebrate different traditions
- Shaler OKs green overlay district to promote riverfront
- Shaler sets summer paving plan
- Hampton woman, Aspinwall man team to help small businesses succeed
- Franklin Park man presents program that examines seedier side of Hollywood
- Photo Gallery: Cherry Blossom Festival at North Hills Art Center