Stafford Leader

Southern Regional Competition Cheer Squad Gears Up for Nationals

Dec 08, 2017
Courtesy of: Southern Regional Cheer

Every year in the competition cheerleading world, squads vie for their place among the best in the country at the annual Universal Cheerleader Association National Championships at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. Last winter, the Southern Regional High School team was part of the Division 1 Small Varsity field, made it through to the semifinals and just missed a spot in the finale.

Now, as the new season kicks into gear, coach Lisa Merlo’s Rams not only will be competing for their place on Disney’s big stage, but expect to, again, vie for one of the finals positions. Of course, getting there is half the battle.

“Even though we have a large group of newcomers, they are not new to the sport of cheerleading,” Merlo said. “We have a very talented group of cheerleaders this year, with a tremendous amount of potential. We’ve been preparing for the Pocono Regional Qualifier at Kutztown University in hopes to attain our bid to the National Championships this February.”

The Pocono Qualifier, scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 10, is just one event during the several-months-long competition season, which typically starts in mid-November and runs clear into the first week of February, but it’s definitely one of the big ones for the winter season. Should the Rams qualify for the colossal culminating event in Orlando, they would compete in the National Championships Feb. 10-11.

Still, there’s much work to be done and plenty more competitions on the way, particularly in January, when the bulk of the competition schedule is contested across the state.

Merlo believes her squad is ready to make some noise.

Returning to this year’s squad are seniors Jessica Lependorf, Amy Lyle and Victoria Sheeran; juniors Ashley Gale and Brielle Mulrane; and sophomores Emily Bartolini and Shayna Rainone. The newcomers to the group include juniors Brieanna Baker, Daria Downs and Amy Kaszuba, along with sophomores Hannah Gile and Alexa Hernandez, and freshmen Rebecca Brummer, Bailey Hradek, Bria Mineo, Daniella Mineo, Catalina Pisciotta, Angela Scully and Carly Spodofora.

David Biggy

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