Sarah O’Shaughnessy takes the helm of the gymnasitcs team.
There are alot of changes with the gymnastics team this season at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School.
The first is the program is now a co-op with Middleboro, expanding on the two schools’ relationship that includes boys’ and girls’ swimming/diving teams.
Secondly, Sarah O’Shaughnessy is the new voice of the club, taking over for Rachel Cohen-Sferuzza, last season’s Patriot League Coach of the Year. O’Shaughnessy has an extensive gymnastics background and has been coaching since the age 14.
“My coach at Massachusetts Gymnastics [Center] asked me if I wanted to start coaching,” O’Shaughnessy expanded. “So, I was there for about seven years and I coached recreational and the bronze, silver and gold team.”
After residing in Florida for the past couple of years, O’Shaughnessy returned to Massachusetts in August.
“Someone reached out to the director of mygym, Tammy, and asked her if she would be interested and since she coaches Notre Dame [Academy of Hingham], she was like, ‘I think you should do it,’” O’Shaughnessy said.
The Panthers, who finished 9-4 last season with the help of regional qualifier Britney Blackstone, are led by senior captain Erin McCoy.
“You can tell she is a leader,” O’Shaughnessy said. “She’s very positive. She’s always there and very welcoming to Middleboro girls and she’s a very good person for the team.”
With teamwork key in gymnastics, O’Shaughnessy said she’s aiming to create it between the two schools. Six of the team’s girls come from W-H, while the other four come from Middleboro.
“It’s honestly about making it so the two teams are comfortable and knowing who their teammates are and everything and just have a good time, get to know each other,” O’Shaughnessy said.
O’Shaughnessy said she’s still trying to figure out where the team is strength-wise.
“They’re working together and there haven’t been any negative things, so,” O’Shaughnessy said.
Other players from W-H include captain Joelle Puopolo, Kate Pihl, Adrianna Caperello and Madison Scaccia.
The Panthers return to action Jan. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Massachusetts Gymnastics Center in Pembroke for a league meet.
“I’m more trying to get them to come together,” O’Shaughnessy said. “I know they didn’t think they were going to have a team at all, so I’m more trying to get them to come together.”