Contributed by Emily Lieberman
Inversion to lib, full up to extension, twist cradle, switch up, and Baja.
After years of building the team up and a season of hard work, the cheerleading team qualified for regionals in the fall season for the first time.
According to junior and captain Emily Lieberman, it was the team’s goal to qualify for the entire season. The winter cheer team had previously qualified last winter, but the fall cheer team had never made it before.
The cheer team had competed at three competitions throughout their season in preparation for Bay State Leagues on Nov. 5, the latter competition determining if the team would move on in the playoffs.
Before the league competition, the team spent time practicing their performance to make sure they were prepared.
“We just kept running the routine and worked on making everything look perfect and as clean as possible, so when we went to the competition, we were able to show our best stunts and show our best tumbling, and able to make it,” Lieberman said.
To qualify, the team needed to get at least a score of 66; the team ended with a score of 66.4. The scoring is based on the quality of the routine, from stunting, tumbling, jumps, and motion.
According to sophomore Ava Linas, the entire team was thrilled when they qualified.
“Our coaches were also really excited because this was a big event for them too,” Linas said.
According to coach Meaghan Cells, after qualifying, the team used the time they had until the regional competition on Nov. 17 to improve their routine.
“We had a week and a half in between which was a nice opportunity to get healthy, make sure we had our routine nice and solid,” Cells said. “We were able to slow down, focus on our fundamentals, and make sure we were hitting our skills consistently. ”
For Linas, going to regionals was a daunting but great experience.
“Regionals was a lot bigger of a competition than ones we have been to, so it was exciting but also kind of scary because there were a lot of people there and all the teams there were really good because you have to qualify to make it to the competition. But it was also really fun to see all the other teams,” Linas said.
Both Cells and Lieberman thought that the team was able to showcase their best performance at the regional competition.
“We actually had our best score of the season at regionals, which is a pretty big accomplishment because the score sheet has some flexibility based on comparability to the other teams of that particular day, so when you have such a high caliber of teams in one place, it makes the judging a little bit harder, so we were really proud of getting our best score of the season at regionals,” Cells said.
Lieberman said she felt like the hard work and talent this year was what made qualifying possible.
“We have a pretty talented group with a lot of skills and we were all willing and able to put in the work to be able to make it and reach that goal of qualifying,” Lieberman said.
Cells said that since she started coaching six years ago, she has been working on slowly building the program and hopes to continue to expand the team
“As we get more advanced skills, we continue to attract different types of athletes, former gymnasts, former dancers,” Cells said. “We just get more athletes in the door, so we’re able to train athletes over time. We are looking to keep growing the program and develop our athletes.”