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HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASTICS: Permian hosts Mitchell-Green Invitational - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASTICS: Permian hosts Mitchell-Green Invitational

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Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 6:24 pm

Gymnastics is all about practice and perfecting skills.

For the Permian and Odessa High teams, it’s all about gaining more experience and fine-tuning skills.

This year’s Martha Mitchell-Harold Green Invitational will be used as not only a benchmark but a time to get accustomed to the pressures of competing against other squads.

After graduating four seniors last season, the Permian boys are trying to reload.

Ryan Dominguez, the top all-around gymnast, along with Coltyn Roemisch and Ian Santos have been the backbone for the Panthers this season.

“At this part of the season, it’s kind of in the reprocess for building up again from where we left off last year,” Permian head coach Chris Soto said. “We’re not as far off as we were last year, so we do have a lot of ground to cover.

“It’s going to be a pretty rocky season, but I have no doubt that this group is going to come through pretty strong.”

For both Odessa High and Permian, this will be the first two-day competition. Each team saw action at the Key City Invitational in Abilene and the Permian-Odessa High rivalry meet before the holiday break.

“So, we’re trying to get to a two-day meet, trying to get to the point where we’re getting out there and competing comfortably,” Soto said. “I got three seniors. Colton and Ian are filling in the holes for the rest of the guys that are underclassmen.

“I got a few underclassmen that are also stepping up, trying to cover the groundwork that the other guys did. They’re working. They’re getting there.”

RELOADING: It’s the same story for the Lady Panthers. The Martha Mitchell-Harold Green Invitational will give them a chance to compete optional routines for the first time this season.

Bridgett Pando has been the all-around top performer for Permian.

“Our biggest concern is to be able to get to a two-day competition,” Permian girls coach Brandi Pettus  said. “It’s just a good meet to start the year, just to see where we are.

Without having any seniors, the Lady Panthers are rather young with three juniors on the squad.

“My juniors have some experience and my freshmen don’t have a lot of experience,” Pettus said. “Right now, we’re just looking for numbers. The more meets that we get in I feel like the better experience they gain from that.”

YOUNG SQUAD: With a young roster, the Odessa High boys gymnastics squad is trying to gain more experience.

With one senior, three juniors and seven underclassmen the overall goal is to get the underclassmen used to the pressure of being judged and competing in a tough field.

Jared Villegas has stood out as the top all-around performer so far.

“We’re really gonna see what it’s going to be like for the boys — see how they’re going to be able to hold up competing for two days,” Odessa High’s first-year head coach Trey Enriquez said. “I have a very young team. A lot of them don’t really have experience competing and that’s what I’m wanting to teach them with all these competitions.”

GETTING BACK INTO RHYTHM:  Not having the ample time for training and then having to jump right back into competition after a long, two-week break can be a tough adjustment.

The Lady Bronchos have six sophomores and two freshmen. Juniors Christa Adjani and Daphne Castillo are the lone upperclassmen.

“This is probably one of the toughest times to have competition for us. We’re coming off a two-week break,” Odessa High head girls coach Lisa Edwards said. “It’s difficult to come off of a break and jump right into something like this.

“We’re going to go out, and as usual, do our absolute positively best that we can do. My girls work hard. I’ve been blessed with a really good group of girls. They’re great students and they’re just great people all the way around. My expectations are just that.”

Three seasons ago, there were just five gymnasts and only three could compete. This year the Lady Bronchos have 12 gymnasts in the program.

At the Key City Invitational, Odessa High recorded a score of 103, which is five points higher than its previous score.

It’s been a slow process, but the Lady Bronchos are steadily improving.

“Anything we do, I can promise you is going to be better than what we did last year simply because we have more experience.”

Follow Peter Dindinger on Twitter @OA_PDindinger

Odessa, TX

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