By Garrett Cote
Behind an electric crowd containing students, family, faculty and staff, and the loudest of the bunch, the Springfield College gymnastics alum, the Men’s and Women’s gymnastics home show was back in Blake Arena once again, with this year marking the 111th edition of the thrilling exhibition.
Each year, the home show displays a new theme, captivating the audience with interesting plots and storylines as the gymnasts fly through the air showcasing their skills. This past weekend, the theme for the home show was game night.
After missing last year due to COVID-19, the athletes were thankful and excited to have the opportunity to revisit the tradition that has lasted since the early 1900s.
“I am so grateful I was able to perform, especially after not having a home show last year due to COVID,” said women’s gymnastics senior Leah Jewett. “As a senior, I couldn’t have asked for a better last home show and group of people to experience it with. I look forward to coming back these next years as an alumni and watching such a meaningful tradition continue.”
Following opening remarks from gymnastics head coach Matt Davis (who directed the entire exhibition) providing the layout of what the show would entail, the first event was a gymnastics Family Feud between the “Judd” and the “Naismith” families, with each side having five participants.
To settle which family was going to walk away with the win, they were given one task each. For the Judds, their task was to see how many dismounts they could stick in five opportunities. For the Naismiths, their task was to see how many releases they could tally in five attempts. Each member of the family was given one attempt. They flew through the air with breathtaking strength and speed, drawing deafening crowd reactions with each skill performed.
“It was great to have all the fans back in the building,” junior Jakarie Williams of the men’s team offered, reflecting on the noise created by the fans. “Having them cheer us on was nice to see, and it definitely added fuel to the fire. I’m glad we could put on a performance and give the people their money’s worth.”
The Springfield College Pride dance team added in a fascinating dance routine with a Monopoly theme to it, as they came out dressed in black and gold topped with a top hat and put on a show highlighted by several dazzling transitions.
Iconic and nostalgic games such as MarioKart, Trivia, Chess, and Pac-Man were all portrayed throughout the night while the gymnasts showed off their prowess on the high bar, uneven bars, parallel bars, floor routines, rings, and many other events during the show.
“Our coaches came up with the whole idea of the game show,” Williams started. “It was definitely a good theme that we did, and we hadn’t ever done it before so I liked it and thought it turned out to be really solid.”
Wrapping up the event portion of the show, the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams collaborated for a house of cards event. This required a combination of strength, balance, and trust of one another, as they carefully stacked each other to create a house of cards. An undeniable amount of strength took place to make these finished “card” products a possibility.
Similar to every year, the home show ends with a tradition that pays respect to the mission of long-time gymnastics head coach Leslie J. Judd. The participants formed many different tableaux, representing different missions Judd strived to carry out.
“This year’s exhibition included many traditions from past home shows in a really entertaining and creative way,” Jewett claimed. “Some of these traditions were the pyramid number, the women’s number, and tableaux.”
A total of 60 different student athletes were able to contribute over the weekend in what was another successful gymnastics home show.
Video Courtesy SCTV3’s Daniel Curren
Photo Courtesy Springfield College