SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - One of the great things about high school sports is its unique ability to bring people and communities together. When teams use that ability to create a truly positive impact on their community, something very special can happen.
On Tuesday afternoon at South Brunswick High School something like that happened. The South Plainfield High School gymnastics team had a “Pink SOCS” meet with the Vikings gymnastics teams. Both teams fundraised for cancer awareness organizations in their respective towns, and both teams presented donations to the organizations. The meet itself was a close contest that saw South Brunswick defeat South Plainfield by the narrowest of margins, 103.7 to 103.1.
“This is a fun meet, and the girls get to give back.” said Meredith Garofalo, the head coach of the Tigers. “They sell t-shirts and donate to the South Plainfield Middle School cancer awareness club. A portion goes towards the leotards and everything for the day. We incorporated South Brunswick as well, and they did a really good job selling t-shirts and donating to their organizations.”
Despite the loss, there were more than a few good individual performances from the Tigers. South Plainfield sophomore Allison Graves got the highest score of the evening in the uneven bars (8.925) and the beams (9.25). Some of the individual scores could help the Tigers when sectionals come up.
“We had some great moments we needed as far as individual qualifying goes, but as a team we had some errors here and there,” said Garofalo. “And in the end, we ended up losing by .6 points. We’re not happy about that, but the girls had a really good day and they fought really hard and despite some injuries and unfortunate events they still had a good meet.”
Garofalo said she saw some good things from her freshman Jemma Scalera. Scalera scored the highest among the Tigers in the vault with an 8.85.”She tried some new stuff today,” said the coach. “We’re really proud of her.”
Both teams raised their funds by selling t-shirts and giving personal donations. The Tigers gave a $250 check to the South Plainfield Middle School Cancer Awareness club and the Vikings gave $500 to the Christina S. Walsh Foundation.
“I love this meet, it’s really fun and it brings two teams together for a great cause.” said Garofalo. “It also gives them an opportunity to give back to the community and to bond with other towns. We hope to grow this throughout the entire GMC and makes this an even bigger meet and even more giving back.”