Above: EGHS gymanastics athletes enacting the Wheel of Progress tableau.
Back in the days of Coach Nicola Carcieri, one important segment of our education at East Greenwich High School was gymnastics, which I call “the Latin of Physical Education.”
Not only did we have it as a unit in P.E., but we had a team, which put on a show – because there were no other teams to compete against. At first the show was just one night (for which we practiced about two months), but it became so popular that eventually it went to two nights and two afternoons with shows for the school, the elementary kids and the town.
It was quite professionally done, having been handed down from days at the East Greenwich Academy, and included parallel bars, rings, tumbling & stunts, the high bar, the horse, vaulting parachute tableaus, a clown act, a fake pro-wrestling match and the finale with the more muscular boys, and Coach, acting out “The Wheel of Progress,” Aspirations, The Goal, football, basketball, baseball and the like. Usually their bodies were painted gold or silver but sometimes, just greased with a skull cap on. Every year at least three or four boys could do giants on the high bar.
It was quite something to see and was a big hit every year and widely anticipated. As long as Nick Carcieri was there, EG had gymnastics. He used to demonstrate The Giants well into his 40s.