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NA Gymnastics embarks on a busy season.

Lauren Lentz, Staff Writer

As the North Allegheny gymnastics team tumbles into the start of the new winter sports season, things are slightly different from the year prior.

Last season, there were only seven girls in total on the team. This year, however, the team consists of 20 girls.

Coach Nicole Bova said that the gymnasts from the previous year made it a goal to recruit more girls for this season.

“They helped out at the NAI activities fair, did a fundraiser at the Wildwood Pool to help get money for our booster account, and got the word out that our school had a gymnastics team,” Bova said.

The increase in size called for some adjustments along the way. 

“Due to the size of our team, I had to get an assistant,” Coach Bova said. “I was definitely managing the large group size but felt as if I couldn’t give each girl the undivided attention that I normally would give. Now we have the best of both worlds.”

The addition of an assistant was not the only change implemented to the team this year. The team has its first-ever team captain. Masha Dudina, a junior who has been on the roster since her freshman year, was chosen for the role, giving her a variety of responsibilities to help organize the team.

“As a captain, I have a really good team, and everyone is very cooperative,” Dudina said. “I like to organize a few things, such as picking out hairstyles and figuring out what we’re going to wear to school the day of the meets. I also make sure our only senior on the team, Lily Grbach, feels respected and welcome.”

Dudina went on to say that her favorite part of being the team captain helping to make their trips enjoyable.

“I enjoy leading the warm-up a lot and picking the music for the bus rides. I also like being able to pick out snacks, too,” she said.

Although the way things work on the team seem to be different, not everything has flipped around completely. Overall, Coach Bova’s expectations for the team have remained the same.

“My expectations every year are for the girls to have fun and create some friendships that they may not have had, and hopefully learn some new skills,” Bova said. “Obviously, some wins are a bonus and a WPIAL championship would be icing on the cake, but not everything is about winning.”

With lots of new people and the anticipation of what is to come, Dudina added, “I am most excited for our home meets this season. I like away meets for the bus rides, but our home meets are really fun because we get to pick out our music. I’m also really excited about having a big team because this is the first time we’ve had a big team, ever!”