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Raising the Bar

Competition Cheerleading at Blessed Trinity is only two years young and already is hitting the mark by taking home the Region Championship this season.

According to Coach Rosemarie Gentile, the team went into this season with a very strong foundation with 20 talented members, 11 of those returning from the previous year.

The team added some strong tumblers to the squad and some more girls that had experience in competition cheerleading. The squad also worked hard this summer with individual gyms to improve their tumbling and cheer skills. “We also brought in Chris Bordnick as an assistant coach,” said Gentile. “Chris brought many years of experience in competition cheerleading and was able to help the girls improve their techniques and added some difficulty level to the routine.”

While preparing for Regions the girls’ minds were set on winning the championship, but a case of nerves set in. “The night before Regions they did not have a great practice, everyone was on edge, tired and sore,” remarked Gentile. “At the end of practice we had a team building meeting and they realized that they had to pull together as a squad. I used to tell the girls, ‘There is no glory in practice, but without practice there is no glory.’ I think they get it now,” Gentile said.

During the season the squad had some tense moments with injuries. “One of the things that I always said to the girls was ‘Raise the bar,’ ” said Gentile.

And sophomore Lauren Janicak did just that.

“She had just come off of an ankle injury but she did not let that stop her. She did whatever she was told to do. She had one of the more difficult tumbling passes and three weeks before Region’s one of the girls was hurt. Lauren was right there saying ‘I can try it!’  She had never flown before but she was committed to doing it," said Gentile.

“Another girl that really impressed me was one of our alternates, Courtney Quinn. This was her first year on the squad. She was learning several parts in the routine just in case something happened. And at the end of the season something actually happened. One of our fly’s was injured, and Courtney stepped right in to her spot. This was very hard because the rest of the squad put a lot of pressure on her. She had everyone telling her to do this and do that, and not once did she complain or give up. She learned everything and she was a big factor in our win at Region,” said Gentile.

This elite group of athletes requires a lot of skills to pull off the stunts as well as complete trust in one another. 

“These girls have come together like a sisterhood; they have been there for each other through the worst of it and the best of it. It was a complete team effort. After they competed and they came back to the stands, we were sitting right by the exit as the squads were coming off the mats and these girls cheered for every single squad and congratulated them as they came off the mat. They displayed the kind of sportsmanship that BT can be proud off. Not only did they win the 1st place trophy but they won the hearts of many of the teams competing that day. They should be very proud of themselves,” said Gentile.

The team includes: Chelsea Biele, Lauren Bordnick, Justine Brewer, Mattie Lou Chandler, Elizabeth Danish, Kellie Dickinson, Natalie Foreste, Jessica Franco, Kendra Ginn, Nicole Hilley, Lauren Janicak, Haley Korner, Shauna Korner, Julie Mague, Aly Marshall, Caitlin O’Neill, Courtney Quinn, Christina Smith, Jessica Stone and Shannon Sugrue.