Perhaps the most admirable trait of the New Canaan girls gymnastics team is that they know who they are. They do not have illusions about winning States or even FCIACs, but they are adamant about having a positive season.

"Our goal isn't to win every meet, but to have fun." junior co-captain and three-year veteran Victoria Gerardi said. "And, of course, to improve our gymnastics."

The Rams have indeed struggled recently, going 1-12 in each of the past two seasons, so they are placing an emphasis on approaching this season with the right attitude.

The positive vibrations at these early season practices are palpable, and the squad is comprised of a group of girls who enjoy working together.

"We cooperate really well," junior co-captain Ellen Hoover said. Hoover is another three-year veteran.

"The girls are working hard, they are enthusiastic and they're getting along really well which is half the battle sometimes," said coach Anne Tomaselli, who is in her 15th year leading team.

More Information

Fact box

"As long as the girls are having fun, that's the biggest thing, because they will keep working hard, and they will come together as a team," Tomaselli said.

New Canaan lost five seniors to graduation last year, which was essentially half the team. Last year's co-captains Alexandra Orteig and Lauren Ross will especially be missed.

Last season Orteig received All-FCIAC honorable mention, and Ross was named March FCIAC Scholar Athlete. Both Hoover and Gerardi, who are still on this year's squad, also received All-FCIAC honorable mentions last season.

"I was worried what was going to come in this year, but we have three returnees which are nice and strong, and I am very excited about our freshmen," Tomaselli said.

In keeping with the team's sunny outlook, Hoover is also excited about the new members joining the team.

"I think we're going to have a good season, because we have a lot of new members who are strong all around," Hoover said.

Of note, Tomaselli said that freshman Isabella Giardina will be one to watch.

"She should help us out this year a lot," Tomaselli said. "She is an all-around gymnast."

"We have a lot of new talent this year, so we are working a lot on conditioning and strengthening," Gerardi said.

"Everybody is on a different level, but the new girls are definitely gaining," Hoover added.

Key match-ups this year include Weston and Westhill, whose gymnastics programs align evenly with New Canaan's.

"We look forward to giving them a hard time this year," Tomaselli said with a wink.

How the wins and losses wind up for this year's team is anyone's guess. Hoover, however, summed up the team's attitude, "As long as you're proud of your team, it's good."