By: Rose McDermott-Pinch
This year, AHS’ own cheerleaders won the large Co-Ed Varsity division title at the U.S. Spirit National Cheerleading Competition, the first time since 2009.
The cheer team competed twice over the weekend of March 28-30. After the second routine, awards were announced.
Senior captain Amanda Blackinton said, “It’s a huge honor. Attleboro is such a small town that no one really knows about it, but to be in an area with so many people and competing against so many teams was an amazing feeling. Also to have all of our fans traveling with us to see us compete, especially for the seniors’ last time on the mat, was the greatest feeling in the world.”
Head Coach Natalie Ferrara (1998 alumni) has been working for AHS for 14 years and was an Attleboro cheerleader herself. She attended the event with 2007 AHS graduates and now assistant coaches Julie Shellard , Kalyn Leddy and Amanda Shepperson.
“It was so fun to be there and compete with my team. I had the best time on the mat and off,” said freshman Amanda Morry.
In order to win at Nationals, Attleboro had to defeat all the other qualifying teams in their division. This year the team is co-ed with three male cheerleaders.
Senior Andrew Carello, junior Tyler Czarnowski, and freshman Christian Lugo are the three males on the team. They participate in Winter Cheer because they are busy with other sports during the fall season.
“Cheerleading is honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and to all those people who say it’s not a sport. It most definitely is,” said Carello.
Senior Mariah Ramsay said, “It’s cool to have males. It’s different because no one expects it, but it has become more popular in recent years.”
Their routine was a total of two and a half minutes long with one minute of cheer and a minute and a half of music. The music section is made up of jumps, stunts and a dance.
The team received a first place trophy that will be kept in Mr. Houle’s office and a National Champion’s banner, which will hang in the gym. Each team member also received an embroidered national champion’s jacket.
There are four senior captains: Amanda Blackinton, Danielle Messere, Shannon Harris, and Shannon Ryder. The other seniors are Lindsey Campion, Melissa Holbrook, Mariah Ramsay, and Shana Candelet.
Juniors Cemyra Ramos, Mackenzie Lyons, Melody Torres, and Tyler “Boxer” Czarnowski, sophomores Amanda Stors, Sarah Bray and Alexis Barfield, and freshmen Amber Champagne, Michaela Fontaine, Amanda Morry, and Christian Lugo make up the rest of the team.
Nationals is held in Orlando, Fla. every year and AHS placed third in the competition in 2012.