SHS grad wins cheerleading championship with Bridgewater State

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The BSU cheerleading team, including Shrewsbury’s Celeste McKenzie poses for a photo. (Photo/submitted)

SHREWSBURY – Shrewsbury High School graduate Celeste McKenzie has been cheerleading since she was 5 years old, competing in an all-star program.

Now a student at Bridgewater State (BSU), she has helped her team become champions in their division at the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Collegiate National Champion- ship in Daytona Beach, Florida, which was held from April 7 through April 9.

“It was better than I could have ever dreamed,” McKenzie said in a recent interview with the Community Advocate.

BSU qualified for the championship after participating in an NCA camp over the summer. At the national championship, BSU then competed in the DIII All Girl Intermediate Division, one of roughly 50 total divisions.

After winning the championship, the BSU team was able to partake in a tradition of going down to the water at Daytona Beach.

“You take your team and you have your uniforms on and everything, and you run right into the water with the trophy and the banner,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie said that this year’s team had a number of members who were sophomores and juniors, adding that the underclassmen on the team had to step up to lead the program.

She praised her team’s coaches, Jason Manhart and Alex Primiano, for guiding the team and teaching them what the members needed to do throughout the year.

“It was kind of hard at some points throughout the year, but we finally figured our routine out and started becoming one and working together,” McKenzie said.

The team will now shift its focus toward tryouts for next year, practicing throughout the summer in preparation to return to the NCA camp in early August.

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