Cheerleaders Reach New Heights


Molly Kennedy, Sports Editor

Both the JV and Varsity cheerleading teams were successful this past fall and winter season and earned some of the highest scores the program has ever had. They placed 1st or 2nd in the majority of their competitions. The varsity team won first in their league and qualified at their regional tournament to go to states.

Fall cheer starts in June and winter cheer ends in March so for most athletes on the team, a large portion of their year is dedicated to cheer. During competition season they are together seven days a week most of the time, and become very close in the process. On a cheerleading team, no one is replaceable. Each member has specific roles in a routine and they learn to depend on each other.

“As a coach, I am honored to coach this group of athletes. The team works hard and puts in a lot of time, hard work and dedication,” coach Nicole Palange said. People often underestimate the time and work cheerleaders put in. however the team’s dedication and talent is easily observed when watching them perform.

With practices being two and a half hours, four to five times a week, they work their routines to perfection. Emma Towsley, a sophomore, varsity cheerleader said, “Coaches and cheerleaders all try to keep a positive attitude during practices, but sometimes it can be really hard to keep a smile on.” They often are attempting new stunts at practice or going over routines multiple times for competitions. It can become frustrating when they don’t hit a stunt or fall, but they learn to push themselves and keep a fun yet serious atmosphere.

Although practices are difficult and can become repetitive, their hard work paid off when they beat their rivals Chicopee Comp this past season. “It was just a great feeling when we had beat them for the first time this season, and we were all just so happy and screaming. It was just a really cool moment to beat them at the beginning of the season,” said senior, varsity cheerleader, Haley Simmons.

The team won several competitions all over Western Mass. During a competition in South Hadley, they beat six other teams. The team’s tumbling is also very impressive and the difficulty of stunts is in the 9-10 range. Not many cheer teams have that many girls who are able to compete at that level.

They sometimes have unique practices where they have themes such as Disney characters, Christmas pajamas, Kerrigan inspired outfits, rainbow, and sports themed apparel. For practices they have matching outfits that they get during the cheer fall cheer season, along with an additional three outfits for winter season which they wear during warm ups.

In school they match outfits and are notorious for wearing matching blue converse and carrying glittery blue bags. They also have lots of cheer apparel which includes custom shirts with nicknames and their graduation year, and their bedazzled jackets which they got after they won Western Mass.

They all have a very close bond and the team members are practically inseparable. “We all love each other and never leave anyone out. We all know that when we go out on the competition floor or basketball court or football field we were doing it for our 15 other sisters,” said Taylor Camossi, a junior, varsity cheerleader.

Congratulations to the cheerleaders who wrapped up their season with great success!