Springfield College is a school based on old traditions like not walking on the grass and freshman beanies. One of those many traditions returns to campus this weekend with the 108th annual Homeshow. A gymnastics exhibition put on every year by the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams.
However, this year there is one person missing from all the Homeshow preparation. Legendary men’s gymnastics coach Steve Posner who retired after 35 years at the end of last year. In his place running the show is third year women’s gymnastics head coach, Jenn Najuch. She is joined by first year men’s head coach Matt Davis who is also a Springfield alum.
“Doing it without (Posner) is an adjustment,” said Najuch. “He did it for 35 years so he had it down to a science and he knew exactly what to do. Picking up the slack and figuring out what we need to do that’s missing.”
To stick with the fact that Springfield College is a school of tradition, homecoming weekend is serving as a reunion for the gymnastics teams. This includes welcoming back legendary coaches: Diane Potter, Frank Wolcott, Mimi Murray, Cheryl Raymond, and Steve Posner. According to Najuch the theme of this year’s Homeshow is, “Celebrating the tradition of excellence.” Najuch believes this year’s theme will really resonate well with the alumni making a return to campus this weekend.
Coach Najuch describes this year’s show, “As a trip down memory lane including different numbers dedicated for each of the coaches choreographed with them in mind.”
Despite the fact that it is a yearly event, there is still much work to be done with the changing of themes, costumes and sets. Najuch calls it “controlled chaos at its finest” while also describing the process as a “love hate relationship that is all worth it once the show happens”.
Not only is Homeshow exciting for the coaches who work so hard to help put it together and for the people who come to the event, but also for the gymnasts that take part in it is a chance to be part of a Springfield College Tradition. Senior gymnast Ashley Parchinski, who is participating in her final Homeshow, echoes the feeling of electricity that is felt when Blake Arena is packed to the max.
“I love Homeshow, it’s the best feeling,” said Parchinski. “It’s electric when you practice, you warm up, and everything’s in the arena. Watching the arena fill up from when there is five people to an hour later a packed house is amazing. It gives me chills just thinking about it.”
“Seeing the talent of the student athletes,” said Najuch when asked what her favorite part of the event is. “We also have a baton twirler who doesn’t do gymnastics and the dance team. I think it really puts the talents of the students on display.”
From the sounds of it everyone should head out to Homeshow this Friday and Saturday night at Blake Arena. Price of admission for students is five dollars.