CGA's 2018 #NCAAMGYm Season Preview With the field much more wide open...who will take the crown?

When the NCAA season kicks off with the West Point Open on January 12, it will have been 1,371 days since the last Oklahoma Sooners' loss. It's hard to comprehend how dominant OU has been over that stretch. Their three-year reign is on par with that of the UConn women's basketball team who won 111-consecutive games from 2014-17.

Here's a short list of accomplishments for Mark Williams and his team since they took second at NCAA team finals on April 12, 2014:

  • THREE NCAA Team Titles
  • SIX Individual NCAA Champions
  • THREE MPSF Team Conference Titles
  • THIRTEEN MPSF Individual Conference Champions
  • FOURTH Team Ever To Win Three-Consecutive NCAA Titles
  • NCAA Record 456.4 Team Score (2015 rules)

You could add a few more accolades to the list, but the point is made. What the Sooners have done (and are still doing) is one of the greatest feats in NCAA history. All that's left to be seen is whether a team like Ohio State, Stanford, Illinois or Minnesota can unseat the Yul Moldauer and Oklahoma in a year where they'll have lost a great deal of talent.

2018 is shaping up to be one of the tightest races in recent memory...now I'll take my best stab at how I think the 2018 season will shake out...

1. Oklahoma Sooners

(photo: Jess Frankl)

If you appreciate dominance, you probably loved the last three years of NCAA men's gymnastics. If you don't, then maybe you despise the "Gym U" juggernaut that Mark Williams has built in Norman. Either way, there's no denying the impressiveness of the Sooners' run.

2018 is going to be a whole lot different for Oklahoma. With household names like Bower and Van Wicklen gone (among others), who, if anyone, can fill the void? "We certainly don't have the same depth that we've had the last couple of years," said Williams. "So I don't know that we can go in and dominate some of the meets that we did as of late."

Moldauer will be even more important for the Sooners (photo: Jess Frankl)

Don't think for a second that means the Sooners won't be in contention for a fourth-straight championship come April. Ever heard of a guy named Yul Moldauer? Just two years into his NCAA career he finds himself in the conversation for the best college gymnast of all time. Still, for Williams, a major goal is to take it easy with his stud after a long, medal-filled 2017. "I certainly want to give Yul some rest after a pretty big year last year with all he's done with collegiate and USA stuff. We're not in any hurry this time to be great at the beginning of the year anyway."

OU is certainly dinged up at the moment with injuries to Peter Daggett (torn ACL), Tanner Justus (hand) and Alexei Vernyi (shoulder). The hope is that they'll have Justus and Vernyi back to full strength by February/March. In the meantime, Williams expects guys like Genki Suzuki, Levi Anderson and Matt Wenske to step up.

The Sooners boast one of the best gymnasts on the planet yet also possess more question marks than we're used to seeing. Still, you'd be foolish to count out the reigning champs.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

(photo: Jess Frankl)

2017 was a big year for Rustam Sharipov and his Ohio State team. They brought yet another Big Ten championship back to Columbus and placed first in the non-Oklahoma division at NCAA Championships -- that was their highest placing since 2005.

With Sean Melton returning for a fifth year and the Sooners losing talent, there might be no better time than the present for the Buckeyes. "By the end of the season of course we would like to defend our Big Ten title," explained Sharipov. "For NCAA's, again, I think the goal is always not just be in the top-three, try to fight for the national title."

Melton returns as a fifth-year senior (photo: Jess Frankl)

Fight they will, and with the most returning NCAA All-Americans of any team, Ohio State just might be able to do it. While they have lost some key contributors (Jake Martin & Jake Dastrup being the biggest) Ohio State will be returning a few gymnasts who missed most, and in some cases, all of last season.

Two guys who fit into that category are Alex Wilson (2016 VT All-American) and Michael Chan. Chan will be looked upon to contribute majorly on high bar -- an event where the Buckeyes have lost two big routines in Martin and Andrew Rickly. Wilson, on the other hand, should come back and immediately slot in on floor, vault and rings.

"It's hard in our sport to say anything," said Sharipov when asked where he thinks his team will be at the end of the year. "The season is long, but again, by the end of the day we're going to give 100 percent and we'll see where we end up."


Alex Diab (photo: Jess Frankl)

If at all possible, Illinois' head coach Justin Spring would really like to reverse the outcomes of the Windy City Invite and Big Ten Championships. For three straight years the Illini have won the "mini Big Ten's" (Windy City) and taken runner-up at the real Big Ten's. "We're trying to flip-flop those this year," Spring laughed.

Whether or not the Illini can reverse their misfortune might come down to the wrist of Bobby Baker. "With Bobby at his best ... I think he could be a U.S. all-around national champion. He can test Yul [Moldauer] if he's healthy."

Any comparison to Moldauer is high praise, but if you've ever watched Baker at his best, there's no doubt he has the talent to carry a team.

Similar to Minnesota, Illinois finds itself in a sort of "now or never" year. The majority of scholarships are tied up in the junior and senior class, meaning this team is built to win right now. Chandler Eggleston will return for a fifth year and as usual should power the team on events like FX, HB and VT.

Chandler Eggleston high fives teammate Sebastian Quiana. The two should be mainstays in the ILL FX lineup (photo: Jess Frankl)

Should Ross Thompson recover from a troublesome ankle injury, Spring thinks you'll see the junior captain on more events than just the one we're used to seeing him on. "He was a one event high bar guy and then people are going to see him in four or five lineup spaces and be like, 'hold on, what?'"

Strangely enough, the crucial event for this team is pommel horse. It ended up being a major reason for their second place finish at last year's Big Ten's and Spring knows they must avoid the same fate this year. Things only get tougher next year as well with 2016 NCAA champ Brandon Ngai graduating.


(photo: Jess Frankl)

Ten. That's the number of seniors on the Gophers' roster for 2018. I don't need to explain why that makes this season extra important and I certainly don't need to explain it to head coach Mike Burns. "It's going to be a good year for us because we've got a lot of seniors; a lot of experience that we'll lose after this year, so this is kind of the year to get it done."

On paper, Minnesota has the makeup to accomplish the goals they set in the preseason of winning Big Ten's and finishing top-three at NCAA's. You've got the aforementioned experienced group of seniors combined with this year's top freshman in Shane Wiskus. "He's obviously adding a lot to our lineup this year," Burns said of Wiskus. "We lost three routines from a pretty strong team last year so we didn't lose a ton and we obviously got solid all-arounder in Shane who's already at a high level so he's going to slide right into the lineup pretty easily."

Aside from Wiskus, you will see the usual big contributors for the Gophers with Jalon Stephens, Tristan Duran, Alex Wittenberg and Justin Karstadt (among others) being part of that group. Burns thinks there's one gymnast though that could jump out and surprise some people. "I think Shaun Herzog maybe could be the guy. He's finally getting to that point where I think he's going to realize his potential."

Shaun Herzog (photo: Jess Frankl)

If so, Herzog could end up being a top gymnast on up to four events (FX, VT, HB & PB) for Minnesota.

Otherwise, Burns says his team is ready to get things going. "They're pretty motivated and it's a long fall preparation. I think everybody's getting to that point where it's like, 'hey, let's get this season started.'"

5. Stanford Cardinal

Josiah Eng (photo: Jess Frankl)

There's no way to replace Akash Modi. You know it, I know it and Cardinal head coach Thom Glielmi certainly knows it.

"It’s not like we’re going to have a freshman come in and fill in for Akash. The hope is that guys that have been on the team will step in and cover those scores, then freshmen will come in a little bit and are able to help." - Thom Glielmi

The most interesting prospect of that freshman group is Andrew Bitner. Bitner enjoyed a successful J.O. career, though it was cut short by season-ending shoulder surgery prior to his senior season. If healthy, he should be a mainstay on multiple events. "[He's] making progress, it's just hard to predict where he’ll be come April," Glielmi explained. "Should be 100% though I'm not sure of the level of his routines."

As for the rest of the team, Robert Neff will be as important as ever -- as will Grant Breckenridge. Breckenridge was unavailable due to injury during last year's postseason and his presence was visibly felt. It would not be surprising to see him come back and become an All-American on multiple events.

The last time Stanford failed to place top-five at NCAA's was 2005 when everyone thought a high bar routine full of in-bar endo skills was exciting. Don't expect that streak to be snapped in 2018.

6. Nebraska Cornhuskers

(photo: Jess Frankl)

For the majority of the 2000's we've gotten used to calling the Cornhuskers the "Team of the 90's" (or something like that). They dominated the decade by winning two national titles and finishing as runner-up three times. They wrapped up the ten-year run in 1999 with yet another trip to NCAA team finals. Then things went quiet.

An April 2017 trip to West Point changed things for the entire program. Led by head coach Chuck Chmelka, Austin Epperson and the Stephenson brothers helped secure a spot in team finals for the first time in 18 years.

Now looking towards 2018, Chmelka doesn't think his team will skip a beat. "In the scheme of things, we didn't do too bad. We lost four routines."

As a matter of fact, Chmelka feels he might have his deepest team in years -- even with the status of fifth-year senior Chris Stephenson (torn labrum) in serious question.

"Getting into top six last year was huge for us, and that was a four year goal that we finally got to. Now the goal is to bring a trophy home and be in the top-four." - Chuck Chmelka

For top-four to be a reality, Nebraska will need to get the most out of what should be a nice freshman class. Griffin Kehler is the headliner and is expected to do the majority of heavy lifting with the departure of Epperson and presumed absence of (Chris) Stephenson.

Rings wasn't a tremendous strength for the Huskers in 2017 (second-to-last in the Big Ten) and it seems that will be the achilles heel again in 2017. The team's specialists have had trouble staying healthy in the offseason, meaning Chmelka may end up turning to his clean, yet low-difficulty all-arounders on the event.

Kyle King and Josh Martin are two guys Chmelka is expecting big things from. King was an All-American in 2017 while Martin missed his freshman year with a troublesome knee.


Dylan Ellsworth will play a key role for the Hawkeyes (photo: Jess Frankl)

Last year marked the beginning of what you might be able to call a rebuilding period for Iowa. All things considered, it went much better than many would have expected. The Hawkeyes finished just outside of NCAA team finals after competing in a tough second session, though they gained some valuable experience in the process.

With a couple of relatively high-profile recruits coming in (Bennet Huang & Addison Chung), what head coach J.D. Reive is looking for now is simple: consistency.


Everything will start and finish with Iowa's two senior captains, Dylan Ellsworth and Austin Hodges. Reive praised the two, saying their ability as leaders can take the team far. "They're really good in practice, they've been really good with their routines and what we're asking them to do. If they continue this then I think they're going to have a really good season of leadership and probably some pretty good amount of success."

An edge that the Hawkeyes could have will be an event that has plagued them in the past, pommel horse. Reive says that it could realistically be the team's best event with guys like Elijah Parsells and the freshman, Huang.

For a team that's relatively healthy, consistency seems well in reach. Iowa might not be raising any trophies just yet, but things are trending upward in Iowa City.

8. Penn State Nittany Lions

(photo: Jess Frankl)

Doing high-level gymnastics while staying healthy takes diet, rest, rehab and most importantly, a lot of luck. The offseason hasn't provided much of the latter for Randy Jepson's team.

"Number one, we've got to get healthy," said Jepson when asked about goals for 2018.

Two important pieces to the Penn State puzzle are still highly questionable with regular season commencing very shortly. Quest Hayden, who missed all of 2017, is still unable to do many of the things that they had hoped. Favian Valdez, who provided a spark during his freshman year, is dealing with an elbow injury and hasn't been able to train for "a couple of months," according to Jepson.

On another, much more positive side, Penn State will start the year with the defending NCAA pommel horse champion, Stephen Nedoroscik. For an event that many disregard as "boring" (who said that?), Nedoroscik is a whole lot of fun to watch. If Penn State's Instagram post is any indication, the sophomore might be better this season.

Nedoroscik ended 2017 as a NCAA champion on pommel horse (photo: Jess Frankl)

Nedoroscik's classmate, Sam Zakutney, is another reason for Nittany Lion fans to get excited. He ended his freshman season as an All-American and has a great chance of repeating his performance. "He's [Zakutney] even getting better," Jepson said. "He's getting more polished, more clean, more solid and added some difficulty. So that's been really nice seeing him come through."

After falling short of NCAA team finals last season, Penn State will look to return, presumably with big time help from their sophomore class.

9. Michigan Wolverines

(photo: Jess Frankl)

The Michigan Wolverines' outlook is a whole lot better in January 2018 than it was January 2017. "Last year at this time we were going downhill," explained head coach Kurt Golder. "This year we're going uphill."

That will happen when you put together the nation's top recruiting class and return a host of key pieces that were missing for much of last year.

Of the freshmen, Cameron Bock and Jacob Moore (recovering from June shoulder surgery), a pair of junior National Team mainstays, are expected to make the largest and most immediate impact. Ontario native and Canadian junior National Team member Anthony Tawfik will be chipping in as well in his first season.

"The goal is definitely to get back into Super Six, we haven't been there in two years." - kurt Golder

With so much firepower potentially getting back into lineup this year, a return to national prominence shouldn't be too difficult. All-Americans Dmitri Belanovski and Tristian Perez-Rivera will return and compete on 4+ events while the team gets back Alec Krystek who dealt with a sickness for much of 2017.

Belanovski (left) should return to the all-around in 2018 (photo: Jess Frankl)

I'd be remiss not to mention arguably the single-most exciting piece of gymnastics in the NCAA -- Anthony McCallum's vault that has won him back-to-back national titles. He'll be go for a third this year and also chip in on other events.

On paper, Michigan should be a completely different team when they take the floor at Windy City in two weeks.

10. California Golden Bears

(photo: The Daily Californian)

2018 marks a brand new era for Cal men's gymnastics. Back in May it was announced that then-assistant coach J.T. Okada would be taking over as head coach for Brett McClure (McClure assumed the position of high performance director for USA Gymnastics).

Okada will inherit a team that is just two years removed (2015) from a fifth place finish at NCAA Championships. His main source of scoring should come from senior All-American Yordan Aleksandrov and standout junior Aaron Mah.

Okada expects a few freshmen to chip in as well. "[Shane] Sadighi was one of the top recruits in the country and he's been showing that, even in our last intrasquad. He can make a big impact and could potentially make a run for some U.S.A. stuff as well, beyond NCAA.

"But I don't think anyone knows the name Joe Dixon or Angel Haro, and they've been doing very well in the gym and I expect them to surprise people with their contributions to the team."

With one of the smallest rosters (16) in the NCAA, it will be all hands on deck for the Golden Bears this season. The goal, as always, will be to qualify into team finals, but Okada explained that he's more concerned with helping his guys grow and become better with handling adversity.

Injury-wise, the team expects to be without sophomore Kyte Crigger until at least midseason.


Tanner West enters his second year with Navy (photo: Jess Frankl)

You can't state a goal more plainly than the way Navy head coach Kip Simons did.


The Army-Navy rivalry is one of the all-time best in college sports, and the intensity of the matchup is no different in our sport. 2017 ended in a split between the two sides, with each winning a pair of meets over the other. "That's always at the top of our list for who we are and what we do at the Naval Academy," explained Simons.

As Navy guns for Army and attempts to win ECAC's on their home turf, they'll rely on Tanner West, one of the best freshman in the NCAA last season.

Along with West, Simons expects around 10-15 routines to come from the new crop of freshmen. Of that group, David Toussaint should be a standout competitor on three to four events.

(photo: Jess Frankl)

Keep an eye out for senior Andy Jones as well. He's a guy who has dealt with numerous injuries, but Simons believes he's determined to go out on a positive note. "Neat story to see somebody not just throw in the towel after yet another season-ending injury and come back bigger, badder, faster, stronger."

12. Air Force Falcons

(photo: Jess Frankl)

Air Force, similar to Stanford, finds itself in the unenviable position of replacing one of the best athletes in their team's history. Tim Wang was a key player on all six for the Falcons, meaning it's time to find out who's going to do their best to replace his scoring.

"The dynamics of the team have changed more this year since I've been around," said head coach Jeff Robinson.

He's not just talking about the loss of Wang, Cannon and Nubine either. The Falcons have experienced a 66% change in their coaching staff since last season ended. New to the team are assistant coaches Dave Mickelson and Levan Sisauri.

(photo: Jess Frankl)

This staff will be in charge of grooming an eight-man freshman class, one that Robinson believes is full of "playmakers."

As for those returning, Robinson thinks we'll see a lot out of junior Casey Branin. Hampered by a shoulder injury during his first two seasons, Branin has mostly competed on FX, PH and PB during his first two seasons as a Falcon. Now, it's quite possible we see him in play as an all-arounder. "He's been our guy who's most consistently trained throughout the summer, he's consistently packing on new skills, adding difficulty," said Robinson.

Depth is there for Air Force, the only question is how big of a hit the top-end of each lineup will take without Wang.

13. William & Mary Tribe

Jacopo Gliozzi became an NCAA All-American last season (photo: Jess Frankl)

2017 was kind to William & Mary. I suppose more specifically, the postseason was kind. They finished as ECAC team champions and Jacopo Gliozzi became the seventh Tribe gymnast in history to become an NCAA All-American with his performance on pommel horse.

Even with a solid group departing, head coach Mike Powell says there's a lot to look forward to for this season: "I think it's going to be a great year for us. We lost some great guys, but we have a lot of great leadership and that's going to make a huge difference this year with our younger team."

Just because they're young, doesn't mean they won't make an impact. One freshman that could stand out but was lesser-known as a recruit is Collin Lillie. According to Powell, Lillie will be pushing for the team's anchor position on vault and will help out on other events as well.

Another underclassman, Tomas Palma looks positioned to carve out a nice role for himself. Powell described him as a "tricker" kind of guy -- one with big skills who hasn't yet been able to put it together. If he does, he has the potential to make noise on events like parallel bars and floor.

It sounds like back-to-back ECAC titles is a real possibility for William & Mary.

14. Army Black Knights

  • Losses: Leo Genders and Joe Pritts
  • Newcomers: Joseph "Taka" Giese, Tim Fletcher, Joe Minus, Prakash Nigam, Matt Martin, Mitch McHugh and Kiernan Reagan
  • Carmine Giglio's routines to watch out for: Nick McAfee (PB) & Nathan Goff (HB)

Army should see a large jump up in average team score from the 393.4 they put up last year. The main reason is because they'll be getting back the services of 2016 ECAC Rookie of the Year, Cole Casanova.

Assistant coach Carmine Giglio said Casanova is coming back strong and should get back to his usual all-around duties. Casanova and senior Nathan Goff provide a nice 1-2 punch for Army.

Nathan Goff (photo: Jess Frankl)

One goal outlined by Giglio for the Black Knights is racking up a couple of NCAA All-America honors. According to him, one of the best opportunities comes from senior Nick McAfee on parallel bars. In years past, McAfee has dealt with a few freak accidents that have caused him to break a finger, among other things. These minor setbacks have caused him to miss postseason time.

If all things go according to plan, expect Army to creep back into the 400's on a consistent basis.

15. Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State (photo: Jess Frankl)

Since being cut as a fully-funded team in 1993, Arizona State has been the undisputed top club program in the country. That's further evidenced by the eleven-straight USAG Collegiate national titles that the team has now won.

In 2017, the Sun Devils competed admirably against some of the best teams in the NCAA, and I'd expect nothing less in 2018. They added former junior National Team member Kiwan Watts and he should come in and play a big part in accomplishing the team's goal of placing top-twelve nationally.

Fellow rookie, Esteban Montiel should make noise as well if he's able to overcome a shoulder problem that has plagued him all offseason.

As for the returnees, 2017 USAG national champion (FX & SR) Riley Ward will be a major piece, as will Kirk Malm. "He's a real clean gymnast that we just continue to add more difficulty to his routines," said head coach Scott Barclay on Malm. "Real steady, consistent, clean gymnast."

Don't be surprised if you see the Sun Devils competing two different teams this year as they've got a total of 46 guys on the team. Yes, 46. Barclay expects one group to compete at the USAG Championships while the other competes at the NAIGC nationals.

16. Springfield Pride

Springfield hopes to have senior Chris Graff at full strength following a meniscus sprain (photo: Jess Frankl)

Along with Cal, Springfield will also be moving forward with a new head coach in 2018. Matthew Davis takes over the reigns following a legendary run by Dr. Steve Posner. Davis is a former Pride gymnast himself (2004 - 2008) having earned USAG All-America status and serving as a team captain for two seasons.

"This season we've adopted an 'always compete' philosophy," explained Davis. "We're always trying to get better every day, in and out of the gym."

If everything goes according to plan, the Pride hope to finish top-three at ECAC's and lock up a hand-full of USAG All-America accolades. One gymnast who will play a big part, and probably come across some individual accolades along the way, is sophomore Stephen Lewis. "He's someone that had a lot of success last year and I think he's going to continue building," said Davis. "He just came back actually from competing at the World Championships for Jamaica and I think going into that event actually helped him a ton."

Lewis competed all-around nine times last season and he'll be in for a similar workload this season.

17. UIC Flames

(photo: Chicago Tribune)

The UIC Flames boast a 24-man roster. 88% of that roster consists of underclassmen.

"We're an incredibly young team. I don't think there's a younger group in the NCAA." - head coach Charley Nelson

Nelson certainly isn't wrong. The good thing is that optimism comes naturally with a young group. There's constant development ongoing and to a degree nobody knows what to expect.

Sam Montague and Taylor Styer are two freshmen that Nelson called 'amazing' and added that they will be needed right from the jump. Montague should be exciting to watch as it's possible he competes a triple-back on floor -- not something you see too often.

Of the sophomores, expectations are high for Satchel Hudson and Victor Bello. Both played sizable roles as freshmen and 2018 will be no different. "Satchel Hudson is incredibly talented and with a year under his belt as a sophomore I think he can be a player on the national stage with rings and floor," explained Nelson.

Growing pains are expected, but Nelson hopes that the Flames are well-represented come NCAA Championships time, an event that will be hosted by UIC. "We have a unique opportunity this year for the NCAA Championships," Nelson said. "There is no better place to watch a gymnastics meet than the UIC Pavilion and there's no better gymnastics community than that of Chicago."

He isn't wrong. With championships being in such a centralized location, there's no better time to go out and support men's gymnastics. The UIC Pavilion holds around 7,000 and the expectation is that no seat is empty come meet time.

18. Washington Huskies

Nathan Tsuji competes at the 2017 Winter Cup (via YouTube)

Arizona State has had a stronghold on the USAG Men's Collegiate Nationals for many years now. Though if you've been paying attention you may have noticed the Washington Huskies inching closer in recent years. "We have been closing the gap at the Collegiate National Championships," said head coach Giancarlo Mora. "I really want to continue that path that former coach Mark Russo did. That is a good goal for us is to try and close that gap and see how we do this season."

The good news for Washington is that they will return their top all-around competitor in Nathan Tsuji. Mora explained that the one thing that has plagued Tsuji in the past has been lack of difficulty, and that's something he's worked hard on correcting this offseason.

It won't be easy to catch a seemingly upgraded Sun Devils squad, but Washington will continue to try.

19. Temple Owls

(photo: Jess Frankl)
  • Losses: Jakob Welsh, Misha Kustin, Casey Polizzotto, Pat Henley, Antone Wright, Wayne Conley and Jordan Motter
  • Newcomers: Nicolino DiBattista and Toby Warren
  • Jesse Kitzen-Abelson's routine to watch out for: Matt Beck (FX)

The departed senior class for Temple is a special one, and a tough group to lose. They were the last bunch to come in and compete for the division one program. Now head coach Jesse Kitzen-Abelson is looking forward to the task of bringing Temple back to national prominence.

"We want to get Temple back on the map in the gymnastics community, start making a presence and letting people know we're committed to building this team and operating self-sufficiently at a high level. Many people didn't even know Temple had a program last year when I kind of committed to this campaign. They thought there was no more program, people weren't applying here. My point is we want to get back on the map again and make our presence." - Kitzen-Abelson

Kitzen-Abelson's expectation is that every gymnast on the team trains as many events as possible. He said this has created some interesting situations with guys doing events they haven't done since high school, but it's all in an effort to boost the program.

"Gymnastics-wise, we want to have at least two event finalists at the West Point Open and the USAG Collegiate Nationals," said Kitzen-Abelson on goals for the season.

Two guys who could help achieve those are Evan Salters and Jackson Heiland. "These are the classic guys you want on the team, the last guys in the gym," Kitzen-Abelson explained. "They're doing what's asked of them, shining examples of our team and they're going to be the guys that provide solid leadership in the future when we build this program up."

20. SC United

(via @southerncaliforniaunited on Instagram)
  • Losses: Douglass Johnson and Kevin Kidshek
  • Newcomers: Alec Fisher, Calvin Valrie, Constantine Clovis, Diego Neumaier, Ely Khatib, Gabriel Friet, Ivan Alpizar, Maxx McCabe, Sam Ekanayake and William Pearce
  • Heinz Schulmeister's routines to watch out for: Micah Cliffe (FX) & Ivan Alpizar (FX)

Heinz Schulmeister and his S.C. United team have some pretty straight-forward goals: compete at the highest level they can and provide opportunities. "Our main goal for all of these guys is keep them in the sport and open up opportunities that they otherwise would not have," explained Schulmeister.

It's an extremely noble goal within a sport with so few opportunities. The team is made up of 18 student-athletes, all attending schools within the Southern California area.

One competitor to keep an eye on will be Diego Neumaier who's in his first season. Neumaier is a member of the Mexican National Team and should be highly-competitive as an all-arounder.

Created By
Logan Bradley


All photos (unless otherwise noted) are by Jess Frankl

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