Stafford Leader Winter Sports Previews

Southern Regional Rebuilds Competitive Cheerleading Squad

Dec 14, 2018

Coach Lisa Merlo says the Southern Regional High School competitive cheerleading squad is rebuilding this year. A quick look at the team’s roster explains her assessment.

The team boasts three seniors in Kim Miele, Rachel Clune and Ashley Gale. But only Gale is a returning cheer athlete. Merlo says the seniors, as seniors tend to do, will still help pave the team’s way, along with two veteran juniors, Emily Bartolini and Shayna Rainone, and three returning sophomores, Carly Spodofora, Rebecca Brummer and Bria Mineo. They’ll be teaching and inspiring four freshmen: Ariana Matias, Julia Griffin, Brielle Horner and Samantha Spina.

“We have a lot of new, young members to the program with great potential,” said Merlo. “We are working on improving our skill set and increasing our level of difficulty in order to raise our competitive ability.”

Given the inexperience of the team, Merlo said the girls wouldn’t be competing in the National High School Cheerleading Championship in Disney World in February. Instead, the team will take baby steps before attempting giant steps. The girls enter local competitions this season, the Garden State Championship and the N.J. State Championship.

A highlight of the girls’ season will take place on Saturday, Jan. 19, when Southern will host its very own Rams Invitational, which many teams use as a warm-up for the NHSCC. —R.M.

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