When Molly Boggs was a freshman at Columbus East, her cheerleading practice area was near the school’s gymnastics team.
As Boggs watched the gymnasts perform their flips, twists and vaults, she got the desire to get back to the sport she had competed in until seventh grade.
“I would stand over there during cheer practice, and I would see them do gymnastics and I realized that I missed it,” said Boggs, now a senior. “So the summer before my sophomore year, I started practicing with them. (Teammate Daran Brady) basically talked me into it, just had me try it out, and I came and loved it. I’ve just been here ever since.”
Boggs, who was a football cheerleader three of her four years, was the Olympians’ No. 2 gymnast behind Brady as a sophomore and junior. Boggs had a rough start to her senior year in a season-opening win over Seymour but hopes to bounce back Wednesday when East travels to Columbus North.
“She really is a very hard worker,” East coach Nancy Kirshman said. “She’s a very good leader and sets a good example for the other gymnasts.”
Boggs’ best event is the floor, and her favorite is the bars. The vault is her toughest event.
“I’ve never been that good of a vaulter,” said Boggs, who explained that she never had perfected a difficult vault, even during her club gymnastics days. “That’s what you need to stay up there with all of the top gymnasts,” she said.
“She’s not the best vaulter, but we’re working on that,” Kirshman said. “We’re working on a vault that has a bigger degree of difficulty, which gives her a chance for a higher score. She’s a beautiful dancer on floor and beam, and she’s strong.”
The Olympians are hoping to qualify for state as a team this year. Boggs also has her sights on placing individually in one or more events and the all-around in the sectional and regional.
Although Boggs considers gymnastics more challenging and exciting than cheerleading, she and Brady are considering cheering in college at the University of Southern Indiana. The pair grew up as gymnasts at Jody’s Gymnastics Zone, and both have been cheerleaders.
“We had already done gymnastics together, so I knew that she was experienced,” Brady said. “Freshman year, she didn’t come out. But her sophomore year, I convinced her to come out for the team. She’s my best friend, so I’m really glad that she is here.”