Jasmyn Phillips had done the basics before joining the Central Crossing High School gymnastics team, but in terms of performing many of the skills needed to succeed in the sport, she was a novice.
However, the sophomore has been a quick study and has become one of the top performers for the Comets this season, according to assistant coach Brittany Maynard.
Phillips has gained confidence through practice, and that has translated to her performances during meets.
"Jasmyn's confidence has definitely improved," Maynard said. "When she first came in she had experience, but not necessarily gymnastics experience.
"She wasn't as confident in her abilities to perform well, but that has changed completely. You can see in her face, she's going out there and having fun and she's thinking about all of the skills and trying to perfect them, and she's setting goals for herself to get better from meet to meet."
Phillips was a cheerleader as a freshman and had performed tumbling and on trampoline at Gotta Flip Gymnastics, which is run my Maynard and her mother, Comets head coach Lavon Maynard. She said friends talked her into coming out for the gymnastics program, and she has learned to love the sport.
"If you have a good background, you can build on that and make your skills better," Phillips said. "I have the basics already from tumbling, so that helps. The only part that trampolining has helped me (with) is when I need to keep my emotions under control. It helps in jumps, too."
Phillips said she likes the creativity of performing the floor exercise and calls it her best event. The balance beam, on the other hand, has been a challenge.
"The most difficult event is the beam," she said. "It's my first year and I have been going from nothing to the high school level, so it's a lot (to learn) all at once. I struggle with my balance and that's the whole thing behind the beam. You have to push through it, keep getting back up and be tighter in your motion."
Brittany Maynard said Phillips is making great strides in all of her events, especially the uneven bars.
"Jasmyn competes in the all-around, and that wasn't by choice, but she actually likes it now," Maynard said. "If I would pick her best event, it would be bars. That is an area that all of our team usually struggles in because with so many kids with little or no experience, it can be a tough event.
"Cheerleading doesn't have anything close to bars, and tumbling doesn't either. Cheerleaders have the tumbling background for floor and trampoliners have some skills to help in vault, but there is really nothing to prepare for bars."
Even though Phillips has shown continued improvement, she is the first to admit it hasn't been easy. However, it's a challenge she welcomes every day at practice.
"The thing most people don't realize is just how hard gymnastics can be," she said. "You watch gymnasts on TV and they make it look so easy, but when you're out there doing it, it's so difficult. It takes a lot more practice and dedication than you would think. You can just see yourself grow. When you do you can look back at all of those practices that you didn't want to go to and realize they actually paid off.
"Confidence is the No. 1 thing. When you have that, you can do a lot better. I have a lot more confidence and that makes things a lot more fun."
Mattox loses first match of season
Senior Jaden Mattox lost his first match of the season for the wrestling team in the finals of the Rieman Invitational on Feb. 3 at Delaware.
The 160-pounder was caught off-balance and taken down by Cincinnati Elder's Austin Murphy early in the first period and pinned for the first time in his prep career. Mattox is 28-1 this season and 156-6 in his career.
Devin Wood (138) also finished second for the Comets, who were 10th (98.5 points) of 14 teams behind champion Elder (252.5).
Ryan Fahy (132) placed third, Hudson Leapley (120) was fourth and Eddie Roberts (113) finished seventh.
Woods leading boys squad in scoring
Senior Mike Woods was leading the boys basketball team in scoring through 18 games.
The 6-foot-4 guard was averaging 14.2 points for the Comets, who were 9-9 overall before playing Reynoldsburg on Feb. 6 and are 2-6 in the OCC-Central.
Other top scorers have been Eddie Ferguson (8.3), Anthony Lowe (7.9), Keason Lowe (7.7) and Nic Miller (7.4).
Central Crossing defeated Licking Heights 57-43 on Jan. 30 as Woods scored 17 points. Miller had 14 points and Ferguson added 12.
Woods led with 18 points as Central Crossing lost to Hilliard Davidson 56-45 on Feb. 2 in league play.
Girls basketball team receives 41st seed
The girls basketball team is seeded 41st of 50 teams for the Division I district tournament.
The Comets, who are 7-14 overall and 2-7 in the OCC-Central, open the postseason Feb. 17 at ninth-seeded Gahanna.
Haley Cox scored 20 points and Brittany Hanson added 10 as Central Crossing defeated Briggs 60-25 on Jan. 30.
Cammarata to play soccer at Heidelberg
Central Crossing senior Karlee Cammarata committed Jan. 30 to play women's soccer at Heidelberg.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 9 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman. The Comets lost to the Shamrocks 83-27 on Jan. 5.
*Feb. 9 -- At Coffman. The Comets lost to the Shamrocks 61-38 on Jan. 5.
Feb. 10 -- OCC-Central meet at Hilliard Davidson
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 10 -- Division I sectional at Upper Arlington. The winner of each swimming event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advance to district Feb. 17 at Ohio University.
*Feb. 8 -- At Westland