Watertown High School’s cheerleaders reached heights that few squads from town have in the past, qualifying for the Winter Cheerleading State Championship.
The team had two straight successful competitions and had hoped to continue that momentum with another award-winning performance at States, but on Thursday the MSAA announced the State Championships in Worcester have been cancelled.
Two weeks ago, the Raiders took first place at the Shawsheen Invitational two weeks ago, and then finished in second place at the Div. IV North Regional Winter Cheerleading Competition at Wilmington High School last weekend.
The eight members of the WHS cheerleading squad competing — Lara Cordeiro, Carina DeLorio, Kayleigh Dore, Camila Guimaraes,Alyce Judge, Eva Kelleher, Isabella Nitschke and Katelynn Palmer— were thrilled to advance to States, said Head Coach Jennifer Ryan, who is assisted by Marcus Moore, Stephanie Owens and Laura Murray.
“The team’s reaction was priceless and pure joy! We loved seeing them so happy especiallysince they have been working too hard,” Ryan said. “It’s a great feeling knowing that you have been givingit your all day in and day out of practice, so having your team’s name announcedhas runner-up in the Division 4 for North Regionals is so awarding.”
The Watertown cheerleaders have competed at States twice before, the last time in 2017 in the Small Co-ed Division.
“This is the first time making to states for Division 4 —and not as a Co-Ed Team,” Ryan said.
The team has been very dedicated this year, Ryan said.
“With any season or sport, we had our ups and downs, but they are a great group of athletes that really work hard, dedicated, committed, and wanting to continuously excel after each practice and competition,” Ryan said. “The passion and determination that this team has is amazing. They understand that in order to be successful in the competition they have to work to together as a team.”
The WHS cheerleaders are also a young squad, Ryan said, with no seniors, and just two juniors. The competitions come down to executing their routine during the performance.
“With cheerleading, there are no ‘subs’ that we can just switch athlete in and out during their performance, we have one shot to hit a perfect routine within 2:30,” Ryan said. “The routine is made up of a cheer, motions, stunts, tumbling, jumps, and dance, so they have to work every practice hard to build their stamina to get through the routine, and also able to hit every element of the routine with confidence.”