The boys gymnastics team from Haydens Gymnastics Academy in Evans is considering 2007 its year.
"We've got a very talented team this year," said Dennis Hayden, the owner of Hayden's Gym. "In the state of Georgia, they should be in the top three if not win it all."
Hayden said that last season both Adam Padgett-Johnson and Quest Hayden won Georgia state championships for their age divisions. Both are back on the squad in 2007.
With that type of potential on the Hayden team, the seven boys on the squad decided to take things a little more seriously this year. The practices and workouts have intensified, but that doesn't tell the whole story about the boys' dedication.
"One of the boys for the last two years would get a flattop (haircut) to match the coach," said Jenny Johnson, Adam's mother. "This year, the boys challenged each other to do the same thing.
"I was surprised (Adam) wanted to do it, but he was the first one in the chair."
On Dec. 22, four of the boys took a field trip to Omar's Barber Shop in Martinez, where their medium-length hair was transformed into matching flattops. A fifth team member, Tristen Elliot, got his hair cut a day later.
Hayden said that while the outing went a long way in furthering team unity, it has a history behind it.
"It started with me and my twin brother," he said. "We have flattops. We got it done when we were 15 to get us ready to compete."
Daniel Goolsby, one of the seven members of the boys gymnastics team, caught wind of the idea two years ago and has started each season since with a flattop. With the 2007 season beginning this weekend, the rest of the boys team decided to get into the act.
More than a few of the boys were hesitant at first.
"I thought, 'Wow. Really? The whole team's going to do it?'" Adam said.
"It feels good now. If you have long hair, it gets all in your way."
Two teammates are still holding out on the flattop cut, but Hayden said the entire squad is competing this weekend in Atlanta to kick off the 2007 season.
The team plans to end up at state competition and regionals in April.
"The ultimate goal is to peak at the state meet and regionals," he said. "We've got the talent to be very successful this year."
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