Cheerleaders win sixth State Championship

Marcella Kowalski, Jessica Agostino, Lauren D’Alessio each execute a “high v.”


Editor At Large

            On February 25 and 26, the cheerleading team won NJSIAA State Championships in both the Game Day and Traditional competitions, making up for a disappointing showing at Nationals. The Knights made changes to their routine in preparation for States, and they saw their hard work and dedication rewarded when they won the State Championship. 

            On February 10, the cheerleading team competed at Nationals in Orlando, Florida. To the athlete’s disappointment, they didn’t make the top percentage of teams. However, the loss only pushed them to improve their routine in preparation for States.  

            While Nationals and other competitions are scored by a Universal Cheerleaders Association score sheet, States have their own completely different scoring system. “The team was very focused on getting those states titles,” junior Heather Clarke shared. “We made a few modifications to our routine, made a few things harder, and overall were in better shape and mindsets to face our state competitors.”   

Senior Jordyn Nelson rallies with a “Get Loud” sign to encourage the crowd.

            The team crafted the routine around the knowledge of this scoring system. “We doubled the amount of tumbling that was in our routine,” senior Jessie Savastano stated. “We also added more advanced stunts and pyramids.”  

            In addition to the physical alterations to their performance, the athletes also changed their attitude toward the upcoming competition. “I think that what changed was our mindset,” Alina Branco voiced. “We always tried our hardest and wanted to win but this was our last competition and we wanted to end the season proving to each other we are capable of winning.” 

            At Brookdale Community College, on the first day of States, the team won first place out of four teams in the Traditional routine competition. “Me and the whole team were doubtful about what was going to happen so when we heard them call our names for first place, we were all so happy, some people cried, it was just a great feeling.” Melanie Mc Gowan stated. 

Seniors Jessie Savastano and Marcella Kowalski and freshman Hailey Lubinski place their poms on their hips.

            On day two, Old Bridge placed first out of six teams earning the State Champion title in Game Day, where the teams competed by performing routines similar to what they do at sporting events. “We all jumped up and hugged each other,” Savastano remarked. “We were so happy and excited!” The squad triumphed over the same competition they had lost to in Nationals and over events, making the win all the more satisfying. 

            After starting as underdogs and working their way up, the girls experienced some emotional extremes, but they ended the season as six-time State Champions. 

Posted on 3/28/23

Photos by James DeMartini

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