As cheer teams and their fans slowly begin to populate a gym at Blair, the atmosphere–as well as the room itself–begins to heat up.
Before the Patriots performed, Clarksburg, Quince Orchard, Blair, Richard Montgomery and Northwest performed. “The schools before us set a high bar. Everyone’s fans were hyped up and it had everyone excited for our performance,” senior Fareed Abedini said.
As the team huddled and chanted before their turn, the Wootton student section, dressed in all black, hollered support from the stands.
As soon as the music began to play, a high-energy group of girls began to flip on the mat and hoist each other in the air, too many to keep track of at once. A flyer, the cheerleader on top of the pyramid, has a lot of pressure. “Being a flyer is nerve wracking sometimes. I’ll be in the air and know that people’s eyes are on me,” freshmen flyer Danielle Berman said.
Mistakes during the flyers’ part are the most noticeable. While picking a single mistake out of a bunch of cheerleaders doing the same movements can be difficult, it is not hard to see a flyer stumble at the top.
Throughout the other schools’ performances, mistakes during the pyramid part of the routine were the most noticeable. “Compared to the other schools, our team’s performance looked like we made the least amount of mistakes,” senior Ben Yi said.
After a roughly three-minute performance, the girls held their finishing poses for a second before proceeding to jump into each other’s arms in celebration of their performance.
The cheerleading team traveled to Montgomery Blair on Oct. 27 with other Montgomery County schools to compete in a county-wide competition. The cheer team performs at football games every week, but larger scale competitions are more infrequent. After an adversity-packed season with some tough injuries, the county competition was highly anticipated by coaches and cheerleaders alike.
After every participating school had performed, the entire arena became anxious in anticipation of the judges verdict. The team’s hard work paid off, as the Patriots placed second, finishing behind Damascus alone.
The second place victory comes thanks to not only the girls, but the dedicated coaches as well. Stephanie Labbe, arts teacher and head coach, was enthusiastic about the results. “The other coaches and I are extremely proud of the performance of the cheerleaders at Counties. They have worked extremely hard, and in spite of setbacks at a previous competition and injuries, were able to score high enough to not only automatically advance to State Semis but to get second place in the county. As a team, we set the goal of qualifying for State Semis and with that goal in mind, the girls performed their hearts out,” Labbe said.
After their impressive performance at counties, the girls competed in regionals last Saturday, too late to be covered in this issue, where they will perform for the chance to compete for a state title later this month.