Tuckerton Leader

Pinelands Cheer Squad Ready to Rock the Mat on Way to Nationals

Dec 01, 2017
Courtesy of: Kelly Flannery The Pinelands Regional Cheer Squad recently captured the medium varsity title at the annual UCA Northeast Regional Championships and have begun their march toward a potential national title in Orlando, Fla., in February.

Every year, the goal for each of the local high school competition cheer squads is to blaze a path straight to the Universal Cheerleader Association National Championships in Orlando, Fla. As has been tradition for some 15 years now, the Pinelands Regional cheerleaders will be there again this year.

While most of the competition season will be comprised of competitions during the coming months, the big step toward the National Championships was completed on Nov. 11, when the Wildcats won the Northeast championship crown in the medium varsity division and punched their ticket to compete inside Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex.

What began with a championship during the Pine Forest Trails End Elite Camp over the summer, the Pinelands cheerleaders will continue their effort toward the perfect routine through January and into the beginning part of February, culminating the season with their National Championships performances on Feb. 10-11. Last season, the Wildcats finished 10th in the nation.

“Our team is led by nine seasoned seniors who are determined to bring home a national title for their final year,” said coach Kelly Flannery. “The team continues to push themselves toward gaining new elite skills to stay on top and keep the sport challenging. We compete locally each weekend leading up to Nationals to improve our performances and gain confidence in preparation for our main goal, which is a perfect performance on the Finals mat.”

Typically, Pinelands competes in various competitions across the state and finish up the regular season with its own Wildcat Invitational a week or two before making the trip to Orlando.

The seniors leading the way this season are Jade Rhodes, Allura Miller, Haley Jackson, Brittney Capriotti, Haley Jeannotte, Emily Ruehle, Hailey Thurston, Melissa Sikora and Sandra Hand, while the returning juniors are Kasey Heisler and Kiera Deschin. The newcomers to the varsity squad are junior Lindsey Maffei, sophomores Madison Price and Kayla Carson, as well as freshmen Tiffani Lombardi and Alyse Wasylkowski.

“The skill and drive of the team this year is commendable,” Flannery said. “I expect nothing but great things for the rest of the season if they work together and stay ambitious.”

David Biggy

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