Stick it! St. Mary’s Gymnastics

Xtreme Athletics

Kendra Spalding, Junior Sports Writer

When people hear sports they automatically think of baseball, basketball, football, and soccer, but sometimes there are other sports that get overlooked. One of these sports is gymnastics. In a lot of areas gymnastics is not considered a high school sport so many people don’t know about it and how competitive it can be. In St. Mary’s County, there are two local gymnastics centers that students attend. One of them is called X-treme Athletics; the other is St. Mary’s Recreations and Parks Gymnastics. When talking to some students at Leonardtown High school that have been involved with the Recreations and Parks Gymnastics center, they said that this sport takes an enormous amount of dedication. Lyndsay Rhodes, a junior at Leonardtown high school who is a former gymnast said, “I think I had practice four days a week for four hours during the school year, even longer in the summer. It took up a lot of my life for eight years.” That is more than any sport at Leonardtown practices. Sarah Adler, a junior at Leonardtown and a coach at the Recreations and Parks center said, “Gymnastics takes a lot of dedication because it’s a lot of repetition. Normal practices are four hours on weekdays and six hours every other Saturday. So usually anywhere between twenty and twenty-four hours a week.”

Participating in gymnastics can involve going to competitions and meets all across the country. Sarah said that she competed all across the USA such as Arizona, New York and Ohio. She said, “Competitions are really fun because we stay in hotels as a team and travel on the road together. You also get to meet many other people from different teams. They’re great team bonding.” The X-treme Athletics center also participates in competitions. They have a Mason Dixon Team that competes with the other Mason Dixon teams and does demonstrations at local events like the county fair.

Gymnastics takes up so much time and practice, so there is not a big possibility of it becoming a school sport. It would also cost a lot of money to build a gymnastics center due to all of the equipment involved. Lyndsay said, “I don’t think it should become a school sport; it takes a lot of space and money.”When I asked Sarah about the differences between being a cheerleader for the school which she is currently and a gymnast and coach, she said “The main difference is that gymnastics is an individual sport where as cheerleading is a team sport.” Gymnastics around the county is another option for young people that want to get involved in sports; it is just as intense and fun, just not as obvious.