Cheer squad is ready for November 1 competition

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Cheer squad is ready for November 1 competition

Meaghan Petrie '18, Sports Editor

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The cheerleaders are preparing for their first competition in more than four years. They will be competing in the Skyland Conference Cheerleading Competition on November 1st, at Phillipsburg High School. While the team is excited for their first competition together, there is a lot of pressure to compete against the best cheerleading squads in the area. For most of the cheerleaders on their squad, it is their first competition. The team is nervous but even more excited to show off their skills.

Junior Geneva Isaacson won’t let the other teams get in her way; “We are going to be competing against really good teams but we still worked hard to prepare ourselves.”

The last time the cheer squad went to a competition, the cheer team didn’t place. As they hope to do better this year, time has been extremely limited. They were signed up for the competition with only a month left to create and perfect a routine. Since then, they have had two and a half hour practices six days a week.

After eight hours at Evolution Training Center in Bridgewater, the team has been practicing their two and a half minute dance that includes single base stunts, partner stunts (two bases), jumps, tumbling, a cheer, and a pyramid. The routine is full of exciting new and challenging techniques they hope to perfect.

“Even though we were under a lot of pressure, we put in a lot of work to get our routine perfected. We are hoping for the best and no matter what happens we’ll know we worked really hard,” said sophomore Abby Iskra about the team’s determination.

Although there were doubts spread across the squad because of very limited time and budget, they never gave up. The team came together and understood the need to stay focused. The cheerleaders became stronger as a team and knew they could have a chance in this competition.

To reduce their stress, the squad has themed Saturday practices to enlighten the mood. Not only did they have crazy hair day and crazy sock day, head coach, Taylor Harris, brought oreos while senior captain Sofia Gambino brought ice cream cake.

“We worked really hard as a team, and it wore down our physical and mental health. It’s hard to have break with a limited amount of time to practice, so doing things like bringing in ice cream is our way to boost morale,” said senior captain Jacquelin Hecker about how the ice cream cake helped her team.

While the competition brought on a lot of new emotions for the team, they continued to work hard and push through it. They were ready to learn new techniques and stunts to make for an exciting two and a half minute routine. Practices were an improvement in the right direction, hitting new stunts and putting the routine all together.

While stunts would fail, sometimes with cheerleaders getting injured in the process, the team would rebuild and keep going. The team suffered through many illnesses and trips to the hospital but never lost sight of the competition.

Assistant coach Kara Nelson has confidence in her team: “We are all very excited for our first competition! The girls have been working hard, and we can’t wait to see it all pay off.” The cheerleading squad is hoping their hard work will lead them to do well in their upcoming competition.

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