Written by Brian Coleman, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 13 March 2014 11:10
The dream of any high-school cheerleading team is to be able to take its talents all the way to the national competitions. For the Massapequa High School cheerleading team, that dream became a reality last month when it competed in the National Cheerleaders Association Open Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky.
Massapequa not only made it all the way to the national competition, but it took home the title of National Champions in the Medium Intermediate category.“As a coach, watching them hear their names called as National Champions was such an amazing moment,” said 12-year head coach Lisa Battistoni. “I knew from the start of the season that this team had a lot of potential. We had a veteran group of dedicated, motivated seniors being supported by an equally dedicated and talented group of underclassmen. It is so gratifying to have the season end the way it did.”
The Chiefs scored an 84.40, out of a possible 90, on the first day of competitions in Louisville. It followed that up with a score of 80.45, bringing them to a total score of 81.44, beating out Charlestown High School of Charlestown, Indiana.
Battistoni knew that this season had potential to be a special one. Entering the year with a roster full of 14 seniors, she saw the chemistry and teamwork that is so crucial in cheerleading displayed all season long.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this group,” praised Battistoni. “You literally have to put your success in the hands of your team mates, which isn’t a trust that can be formed overnight. This year’s team was a family. The chemistry between team members was real and it was apparent in their performance. The smiles that they showed on the competition floor were genuine and they were just so excited to have the chance to show the world what they had been working towards for so long.”
Massapequa did just that, but it wasn’t always a guarantee that it would have the chance to compete nationally. The squad had to battle its way through the Nassau County and Long Island competitions to earn the opportunity.
The team competed in five local Long Island Cheerleading Coaches Association (LICCA) competitions and was able to earn a spot in the Long Island Championships held at Suffolk County Community College in early February.
“Even the worst disappointments put us on the path to where we eventually ended up,” said Battistoni. “Competing locally through the LICCA competitions gave us invaluable feedback and experience. Coming in second at the Long Island Championships gave us confidence and momentum. It all came together at Nationals where the team put it all out on the mat and we were lucky enough to walk away as champions.”
Massapequa had to earn its keep throughout the season, continuously proving that its hard work and dedication would eventually pay off. The team is now proud to take that national championship trophy back home to Massapequa High School.
“They were so excited to be named champions, but equally as excited to bring that title back to Massapequa as another example of the great athletic program we have,” said Battistoni. “The Massapequa community has been so unbelievable in their support of my teams and we would never have been able to accomplish what we did without them and without administrators through the years who believed in us.”