A flock of freshmen could be the difference for the Fairfield Warde gymnastics team.

Six freshmen join Warde and they are all talented and are expected to contribute.

"I'm so excited about the season," Mustangs senior tri-captain Ali Kirsch said. "We have some great new freshmen and we have a big team. They all have their own strengths and altogether, we'll make it a great team."

Last year, Warde was 4-8 in the regular season, finished seventh at FCIACs and eighth at Class M. Kirsch and senior tri-captains Emily Zeisler and Megan Kelly are confident the Mustangs will improve in all three areas.

Ji Young Anderson is the only junior and will compete on the balance beam and on floor exercise. Sarah Zeisler (Emily's sister) leads a talented sophomore class and excelled on vault, beam and floor last year. Sophomore Sarah King is coming back from an injury and is expected to contribute. King's classmates Molly Wilkinson and Stephanie Kovis have improved and Judy Thurston is a newcomer.

Amy Nichols, Arielle Panthauer, Kirstyn Lazor, Judith Kling, Tori Gallati and Caitlyn Wholley are the talented gang of six freshman who are expected to transform Warde into a formidable team.

"At first, the coaches said they were going to make cuts, but they didn't because everyone who tried out brought something to the table and they are talented in their own area," Kirsch said.

Darcy Appleby is the longtime head coach and she is assisted by Sacred Heart University track athlete Ashley Matakevich. Matakevich is a strong gymnast as well.

"It would be great to move up in the seedings and with this team, it's a possibility," Kirsch said. "Our goal is to have fun. This is our best chance to move up in my high school career and I want to see some of gymnasts qualify for State Open. We'll practice hard, work on some events and do some team bonding."