HUDSON – Hudson knows how to cheer.
In mid-September, roughly 50 Hudson youth cheerleaders traveled to Lunenburg to compete. Hudson walked away from the competition with much to be proud of, including two third-place finishes.
Some of Hudson’s youngest athletes competed on the big stage.
Inspired by numerous parents asking for activities for their young daughters, the 6U team is the first of its kind in Hudson cheerleading history. Athletes as young as 4 years old competed. Although the 6U league is considered to be an “expo division,” meaning no official scores are kept, the team found great success.
“I was so proud of these girls. It’s very scary – walking out onto the mat with hundreds of people who you don’t know,” said Hudson Youth Football and Cheer (HYFC) Cheer Director Sarah Krinopol. “The music is loud and they’re out there. They could freeze up, cry, or run… These girls went out there with zero fears. I felt so excited for them. My heart couldn’t have gotten any bigger that day.”
8U Team and 12U Team
Hudson’s 8U and 12 U squads secured third-place finishes.
Krinopol estimated 95% of the athletes on some teams were new to cheerleading. The athletes may go to different schools, but everyone was able to work together and compete.
“[Cheerleading] gives these girls a chance to really meet other people – different ages too… They get along so well. In the beginning when we start working with them, we like to make it fun. It can’t be all about work right away– they need to bond and they need to trust each other,” Krinopol said.
“They just have fun and laugh together,” she added.
Camaraderie is of the utmost importance in cheerleading; athletes are flying through the air, relying on their teammates to support them in the heat of competition.
“It’s so gratifying as a coach to see where they start and how they’ve grown. You want these girls to grow together, to learn to trust each other… You’re trusting somebody else to push you up in a stunt. We all have to work together. I always tell the girls that every part of cheer is important. We can’t do anything by ourselves – we all need to do it as a team,” Krinopol said.
Despite all the pressure of competition, Krinopol shared that the athletes “weren’t intimidated.”
The Hudson youth cheerleaders were lucky enough to receive demonstrations from the cheerleaders at Hudson High School. Mia Sullivan, Jane Yates, Gracie Keller, Kaylee Tryba, Lily Graca and Kylee Graca worked with the youth athletes to help them improve.