By Matt Taylor, Contributing Writer
Marlborough/Shrewsbury – It was a day filled with loud music, louder cheers, acrobatic flips, scintillating stunts, dozens of teams, hundreds of cheerleaders, dancers and spectators, and more than eight hours of competition and routines at Shrewsbury High School (SHS) Nov. 20. In the end, the cheerleading teams from Marlborough High School (MHS) and SHS both received bids to Nationals.
MHS and SHS finished 7th and 8th out of more than 15 teams in a competitive Division 1 field. MHS cheerleading coach Adrienne DeGeorge spoke about her team's performance despite the loss of a key performer earlier this fall.
“Our team had a great season, and we performed well at States despite a major injury to one of our junior co-captains, who was lost for the season. Our team worked extremely hard adding extra practice time during the week and on weekends to rework our routine. We achieved our highest score of the season and obtained the bid to Nationals. My senior captains Camila Cordoba and Nicole Kresphane have been amazing as have all my seniors, including Sarah Guernelli, Julianne Braganca, Shaunna Campbell, Tori Nasuti and Jenny Oliveira. Our junior captains Caroline Brassard and Lindsay Parks have also shown exceptional leadership.”
There is a lot that goes into evaluating these routines according to cheerleading judge Michael DoValle.
“You have to build your routine based on a number of categories in order to maximize your points,” DoValle said.
Execution of routine, partner stunts and tosses, formations and spacing, pyramids, transitions and flow of routine, voice, overall effect and performance appeal, gymnastics, jumps, creative use of material, motions, dance, and expression and enthusiasm are all part of the scoring criteria.
The SHS cheerleading team also performed well at States finishing a quarter of a point behind Marlborough, while receiving a bid to Nationals. Head coach Marlena Jaillet spoke about her team's accomplishments last week.
“We were very excited about receiving a bid to Nationals. Receiving this bid from the state was our first step in achieving our goal of defending our National Title at the Cheer Ltd. Nationals in South Carolina. The team is very motivated to continue to increase the difficulty of our routine over the next few months.”
Jaillet said that her entire team deserves credit for the members” dedication to each other, and the time and effort that was spent achieving their goals. Her senior class of Amber Andrews, Jill Casey, Marissa Dupre, Alexandria Lucchese, Michaela Marcello, Megan Reilly, Adrianna Rothera and Alexandra Schlener showed exceptional leadership and helped develop great team chemistry.
“Our team is like one big family,” Jaillet said. “We spend more than eight months together practicing and competing, and our team has really bonded well.”
For more information on the results of the Massachusetts High Cheerleading Championships visit www.mssaa.org, click on student activities, and select cheerleading.