Just when some folks didn’t think the Pinkerton Academy winter varsity spirit squad’s 2014-15 season couldn’t get more impressive, it did.
Veteran coach Michelle McCarty’s state champion Astros claimed the New England Division I crown against strong competition at Lawrence (Mass.) High School, Saturday, March 21.
No team in any of the five competitive classes (Divisions 1-4 and co-ed) managed to tally a score as large as Pinkerton’s 209.20, which was 12 points better than the 197.10 put up by the defending D-I champs from Lewiston, Maine that day.
“My athletes absolutely brought the heat,” said McCarty. “It was the performance of the season, an unparalleled three minutes.”
Going into the major event, McCarty said her girls were perfectly primed and ready to get their task tackled, and she was right.
“We had an incredible week of training and preparation the week leading up to the New England Championships,” she said. “My plan was to ensure that the team was just about at peak performance at states, and to peak for New Englands, which is exactly how it panned out. We were methodical in our training all season in hopes of earning the opportunity to go back to New Englands. A second-place finish last year was a driving factor in our training for the competition.”
The academy squad attacked its routine and gave an outstanding performance that had the entire crowd on its feet and cheering.
“As most of the teams from the other states hadn’t seen our routine prior to the event, it was really great to experience the skills once again for the first time through their eyes,” said McCarty.
McCarty has taken particular pride in the fact that her veteran leaders have done such a great job of bringing the younger members of the PA troop along toward all of the success throughout the campaign.
“PA varsity cheerleading will always be the greatest experience of my life, not just because I love this sport but because we are a family,” said senior captain Lizzie Cox. “I couldn’t be more proud of how far we have come. Hard work really does pay off.”
Her fellow senior captain Nicole Hillard added, “I will never forget this team. Our journey together as a family has been so memorable and I’ve never been so proud. Everyone’s hard work, drive, and dedication really showed and paid off.”
And third senior captain Nicole Saitta said, “This season has truly been like no other. The team jelled as one unit and we all worked hard toward one common goal. A group like this doesn’t come along too often, and I think our love for one another really showed through in our performances.”
Along with the aforementioned captains, the championship squad included juniors Maddy Garnick (the fourth team captain), Valerie Quigley, Emily Dellisola, Alexandra Kirker, Taylor Sullivan, Megan Decosmo, and Katiya Troutman; sophomores Cameron LaRoche, Camryn Teresky, Hannah Rogers, Alyssa Daigle, Kendra Hicks, Jillian Parnigoni, Aurora Goujon, Gemma Schena, and Victoria Williams, and freshmen Kaylie Kirker, Dusty Anderson, Abby Maloney, Jordan Nacos, and Olivia Deem.
McCarty is assisted by Carol Quarles and Jim Robidoux.