Stunt Starts Strong

Despite past seasons’ disappointments, the Stuyvesant Varsity Coed Stunt team looks to end their playoff drought this year.

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As they threw their cheerleaders up into the air in the Port Richmond gymnasium on a brisk Saturday afternoon, the Stuyvesant varsity coed stunt team had one goal in mind—to start the new season with a win. The team was able to do just that, out-cheering John F. Kennedy High School with a score of 13-7.

This was the first time Stuyvesant won its first match. “Though the past two years have been rough, the tables are definitely turning,” junior and co-captain Kevin Zong said. John F. Kennedy High School is a quality opponent, having won five and eight games the past two seasons, respectively. After finishing with a combined score of 4-17 for the past two years, Stuyvesant looks poised to make a run at the playoffs.

“For this season, we expect to do so much better than our last two years at stunt,” junior and co-captain Sharon Li said. A large reason for this optimism is the team’s new coach, Nicholas O’Stanton.

Though this is his first year coaching the team, O’Stanton has been able to quickly identify his players’ skills and figure out how to utilize them effectively. And in sport like stunt, a coach’s ability to find uses for every member of the team is vital to success. “It is evident that he knows how to make the team great and is doing a great job so far,” said Zong.

“Losing the seniors, especially the captains, was definitely a loss because they were the backbone of our team last year,” Zong said. A whopping nine seniors graduated last season. Despite these losses, players at every position have stepped up and improved drastically.

Besides the new members, Qingyi Ye and Xinyue Nam have had to take over in this meet because of last-second injuries. Stunt is much more dependent on teamwork than many other sports, so having others be able to fill in for others is certainly a big plus for O’Stanton.

“Our biggest competition is ourselves,” Zong said. “We are more focused on improving ourselves than beating the other teams.”

“But at the end of the day, we can't defeat anyone by simply proclaiming them as our biggest competition, ” Zong said. With a mindset like this, combined with strong coaching and players who are able to step up and perform well in important situations, this team certainly has the makings of a playoff contender this season.