Men’s gymnastics head coach Steven Posner and women’s gymnastics head coach Cheryl Raymond sport outstanding resumes and serve as a valuable coaching duo at Springfield College. Posner has been the men’s coach for 33 years, while Raymond has served 34 years at the helm of the women’s program. Their experience shows in their teams’ performances, which are among the most sophisticated and refined in the region.
Coming up this month is an event that you would undoubtedly regret missing. The Springfield College men’s and women’s gymnastics teams will be holding their 104th annual Gymnastics Home Show Exhibition on October 25 at 8 p.m. and October 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Blake Arena.
This year’s theme has been chosen as, “We’ve Got Talent,” a spin-off of the hit TV show, “America’s Got Talent.” Posner, Raymond and Director of Facilities and Campus Services Steve Lafever meet every two weeks over the summer to begin proposing, planning and perfecting the much-anticipated event.
Posner has coached 153 All-Americans and 23 National Champions. He has received the Coach of the Year award a total of seven times, and received the prestigious CGA Coaches Honor Award in 2007 for his 25 years of meritorious service to the sport of gymnastics.
Not only is his coaching career successful, but Posner also has an impressive track record as an athlete himself. As a member of the U.S. Elite National Team from 1973 to 1975, Posner won gold medals in the floor exercise and in the all-around at the 1973 Maccabiah Games.
Raymond, the longest-tenured women’s gymnastics coach at Springfield, also has a very impressive resume. In the 2013 season, her team finished fourth at the ECAC Championships. She also sent a record 10 gymnasts to compete in the 2013 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Championships.
“We’ve been partners in crime since the beginning,” said Raymond, with a laugh.
Nothing less than the best is expected from this power-coaching duo. There is no doubt that the Springfield College Gymnastics Exhibition Show is going to be an impressive performance.
The leading differentiating factors between a traditional gymnastics meet and the Home Show are its effect on the team, and also the audience.
“The event shows the artistry of gymnastics – sports as a form of entertainment. Competing in front of a large audience without being judged also gives our gymnasts more confidence,” said Raymond.
The Exhibition Show acts as a creative break for the gymnasts. It is the only time of the year where they are not stressing or ripping their hair out with the apprehension of their scores.
“It’s an awesome experience. It takes us a little out of our element and allows us to be a little less competitive. The thrill and the rush you get when the lights come on are unreal. Seeing so many people come to Home Show excites us even more and makes performing that much better,” said women’s gymnast Keelin O’Connell.
The men’s and women’s gymnastics teams are finally rewarded with the opportunity to indulge and express themselves in a more personal way. They get to entertain and make their audience smile and laugh; ultimately they get to provoke amusement, enjoyment and happiness.
“My favorite thing about Home Show is hearing how many people I made laugh because of the clown act. It’s a great feeling to be the comic relief…especially during practice when things are getting crazy,” explained gymnast Pat Hanley.
Each act holds a themed background. Some of the mini-acts are collaborations with different performance-based groups or clubs around campus.
The tumbling event will be a conjunction with two grad students who are Chinese world-class martial artists.
“We love incorporating different groups from Springfield into Home Show. It brings us all together,” said Posner.
One of the most-anticipated skits of the evening is always the Tablos. The gymnasts dress in dazzling costumes to recognize, honor and celebrate special events or occasions happening on the Springfield College campus.
This year, many exciting things have happened within the Springfield College community, such as Humanics in Action Day and the service side of Springfield students, staff and faculty. The Tablos will also be directing the attention towards the milestone 50 years of women’s athletics at Springfield.
The men’s volleyball team and the men’s wrestling team have also earned a Tablos’ spot. Of course, the men’s volleyball team’s National Championship title deserves appreciation, and we can’t forget junior Devin Biscaha, who captured the NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championship.
In case you haven’t heard enough reasons to attend this highly reputable event, here’s one more.
Some of you may remember “Trooper Dan” from the original Radio Disney. Since then his career has flourished. Having been a keynote performer for the Boston Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox, this Patriot Singing Trooper will be the MC at our very own Home Show this year. He personally challenges his audiences to come “experience the dynamic power and passion of this spectacular entertainer.”
From national champions to All-Americans, the Springfield College 104th Gymnastics Exhibition is an experience for all to enjoy.
“There is something for all ages here. Some parts of the show cater to young children; others are for the older audience to enjoy things from the past. College students, you get to see your classmates play to the artistry of movement. If you like non-stop daring entertainment with dance and acrobatics…why not? We will keep you on the edge of your seat for 90 minutes of pure enjoyment,” Raymond said.
At the door tickets are available as follows:
Seniors 65+: $7
Age 17 and younger: $5
Faculty and Staff: $7
SC Students: $5
Advanced ticket sales:
Oct. 15-18 and 21-24, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in Cheney
Oct. 21-24, 4:30 – 6 p.m. in Blake Arena.