FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham High cheerleaders won the MIAA/MSSAA Division 1 State Championship title in June.
The Flyers were the defending title holders, having won the championship in 2019. There was no competition in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The team has consistently been in the finals of Division 1, only missing the finals one year since it’s inception by the MSSAA,” said head coach Sue Pereira. “The goal for my Co-coach Brandy Chartier and I is to always contend for the title.”
This year’s competition was virtual, said Pereira.
“Teams had to commit to shooting their submission in one take. We signed a document as well as our athletic department that stated we would adhere to the state rules of one shot at videoing. before uploading to the official site,” she said.
The submission window was June 1-15 and the viewing.
Athletic Director “Paul Spear and (assistant athletic director) Ashley Paulsen moved mountains to allow our senior parents to attend the taping (masked). It was great, but a far cry from the crowd they are used to performing in front of at live competitions,” said Pereira.
“We submitted on June 4th as senior activities and a planned vacation made it impossible to do so after,” said the head coach. “We knew other teams would have an extra week and a half to practice so we really pushed their readiness.”
“After performing we had to wait so long to find out the results,” said Pereira. “Not knowing how any other team looked, as we had not had the opportunity to see what was out there, was difficult. We chose to keep our difficulty and not water down much, knowing that there would be imperfections that we normally do not accept, crossed our fingers and prayed.”
Periera said “In the end, the team gave Brandy and I an excellent performance, leaving it all on the mat. While we are tough on them and can cite every flaw, given the constraints, it was pretty incredible and we were so proud of their effort.”
The winners were announced on June 20.
“The entire senior class served as captains as we were not able to do our normal selection process this year,” said the head coach.
Seniors on the championship squad were: Sophie Albright, Italya Bello, Anaisy Casado, Taylor Cutler, Kaya Glass, Megan Innis, and Sophia Wallenstein.
Juniors on the winning squd are Aaliyah Aga, Sydney Anderson, Mary Bace, Layza Coelho, Yednelis Santana, and Layssa Santos.
Sophomores are Alyssa Brandolini, Ava Heitman, Julia Ottaviani, Haley Perez, and Kaylani Santana.
Freshmen on the team are Ana Chaves, Amani Rivera, and Keira Wiltshire.
“Competing this year was challenging and different. Our practice time was greatly reduced due to space constraints at the high school,” said Periera. “Our Athletic department did all they could to juggle things and allow us a season. For this team, it meant moving about 150 desks every day in the back gym out of and back into straight lines as this space was used for a break out room and testing venue because of COVID.”
“Practice involved unusual challenges as we had to deal with quarantines in pool testing, second shot reactions that had people in bed, bagging and dragging mats daily, wearing masks and sanitizing mats, losing team members to injury and surgeries as well as other sports (Spring not being our usual season) and following all COVID protocol,” said Periera. “Brandy and I realized that we only had 4 practices where every team member was present. As coaches that was challenging piecing the routine together but the team was resilient and relentless in their pursuit of capturing another title. They showed incredible resolve and drive as they decided they would not let COVID take this opportunity from them and they would do whatever it took.”
Framingham High already held try-outs for the 2021-22 squad. Twenty-one girls made the team. Captains have yet to be selected.
Photo and video submitted to SOURCE media