Boys gymnastics boasts successful season despite recent rocky years

Boys gymnastics coach Frank Erwin had only one word to describe the 2021-2022 spring season: “Excellent”. Over the course of this past season the program sent four boys to state in 16 events, and that was just a fraction of their overall success. 

Class of ‘22 team captain Aryeh Lesch left the IHSA state championships with a second place metal in floor, while junior Xavier Probst, left with a matching second place metal for vault. This was the first time two male Evanston gymnasts have earned state medals in the same season in over 35 years. Lesch and Probst were two of three Evanston’s players to compete in the state championships. Freshman Erik Van Leer qualified in the floor event. This made Evanston the only team to have three athletes qualify to compete in the state finals. 

ETHS hosted the Central Suburban League (CSL) conference meet this year, and they won for the first time since the 1988 season over 34 years ago. Coach Erwin views this as the overall highlight of the season. 

“[It] doesn’t get any better [than] when you can win conference at home,” Erwin remarks.

Over the past seven years that Erwin has led the boys gymnastics program the team hasn’t exactly had a positive record, but this losing streak wasn’t started by Erwin but rather inherited. The boys gymnastics team has not won state since the 1966-67 school year and has not placed in state as a team since the 1977-78 school year, but after this unprecedented season, the team hopes to preserve a new reputation. 

Coach Erwin is looking forward to building off of the success of this season and for him that means ensuring that the team has a strong freshman turnout. He believes though that the returning players will be able to repeat the success of this year and maintain the team’s strengths.