by Gloria Li
This season, cheerleading performed better than it has at any point in the last decade.
Not only did the team place fourth at the State Tournament, but it came in fourth at Regionals and first in the Bay State Conference.
Led by seniors Dominique DiDino, Katja Hammler and Micayla Ross, the captains, the cheerleading squad consisted “of a group of girls that were talented, inspirational and selfless,” according to assistant coach Adriane Callahan.
Callahan said she believes that this fall season exceeded the expectations of both the girls and the coaching staff and that “the captains were the best that we’ve had in our past five seasons of coaching.”
Her and coach Amanda Costa’s goal was to turn the girls into “serious athletes who respect themselves and the sport itself,” she said.
“We wanted them to carry the discipline, integrity and determination they learned from cheerleading with them into their adult lives,” according to Callahan.
The girls, with the help of Costa and Callahan, led by example, desire and positive reinforcement, Callahan said.
The Tigers had the ability to think of the team as an entity as opposed to merely individuals, which contributed to their success, Callahan said.
“Each and every decision that was made was made for the good of the team and not any one person, and the girls practiced and competed with this in mind throughout the season,” she said.
The team was a young one, and at times, inexperience was hard to overcome, yet “our upperclassman rose to the challenge of helping the younger girls, even in their most difficult situations,” Callahan said.
Callahan said that albeit it is typically difficult to keep 20 teenage girls completely motivated for a month, “with this group it was never an issue, not even once.”