Towson Cheerleading goes to Nationals 2010

By Kaila Flood

The feeling of stepping on the competition mat with your team around you, lights so bright you can’t see, all your glittery makeup on, your hair real big with a sparkly bow, and the judges looking at you is indescribable . Well that is what Towson’s cheerleading team will be feeling when they step on the mat for Nationals.

This April Towson’s cheerleading team will be attending NCA nationals in Daytona Beach, Florida. They are competing in All girl division 1. They have been preparing for this since August and have been practicing all year. The team hit a few bumps in the road but somehow was able to pull it together and hit their routine.

About the Team

Towson’s team is made up of eighteen girls. With everything else they have to do like supporting their football team, men and women’s basketball teams and any other spirit events they somehow still find time to practice for competition. Cheerleading is not given the same benefits as other sports. There is no scholarship money and nationals had to be fundraised by the team.

Captain Athena Kominos said after one of their practices “I think a lot of our team commitment is a silent understanding that each one of us has poured our life into what we’re doing.”

When talking to the captain of the team she explained how far the team has come and how the team now has one common goal “to get to nationals and make it to finals.”

This year the team welcome a couple of obstacles. It’s not easy for these girls to balance school, practice, games and jobs. Katie Horsely captain and senior of the team said she “her goal is to keep the faith and motivate the other girls.

She said “ This is my last year and were going to go out with a bang. We might have had some girls quit, and lost a coach and not have the time we needed but that is all in the past now. It is time to prove how good Towson cheerleading is.”

When coach Kim Jones walked out on the team, the girls felt hopeless.

Senior Lisa Silverman said “ Everybody knows Nationals season causes tensions to run high but none of us were prepared for our coach to resign. She left us without so much as a goodbye.”

New Coach, New Start

Its pretty much impossible to put a routine together and go to nationals without a coach, but the school found a replacement, Edy Pratt. She was the best person for the job and Pratt could not agree more.

She said she “is all about believing your able to do anything you want to do.”

At little stressed at first with losing about three months of golden practice time she was some how able to put a video together and push the girls at practice to hit a collegiate level routine. She brought in assistant coach Nick Santolla, and with both of these coaches the team had an amazing balance.

Coach Edy said “ I’m going to push these girls. Its going to be tough and going to be a lot of work but I know my babies can do it. They just have to believe.”

The Dedication

These girls practice Sunday through Thursday and attend all games on the schedule. Their nationals routine is made up of stunting, jumping, tumbling and dancing. A combination of these things is tough. Everyday the girls are trying to make their routine harder and add more difficulty. Tensions arise when some people can not hit their stunts or land their tumbling but the girls just try to keep a positive attitude as much as they can. When the girls had a bad practice Jenna McRay, a freshmen said “Some succeed because they are destined too but most succeed because they are determined too.”

Once the girls were reminded what this was all for, they got back up and worked harder.

Rachel Targgart described her most memorable moment with the team. “

It was the week of choreography for us and then the unexpected hit again, the double snowstorm hit Maryland and we were trekking through 5 feet of snow for 2 miles to practice to make sure we could put this routine together. It was rough but the memories with my team are unforgettable.”

Kristen Stottler, a senior on the team, said “Now that we’re running the routine full-out it doesn’t surprise us that there is much less frustration on this team than one would expect as Nationals looms only 1 week away. We have been there for each other emotionally so much, that supporting each other physically seems lighter than air.”

The girls will leave for nationals on April 7th. They will be competing against all other colleges in Division 1 and are hoping to bring home a trophy. They are going to show what all their hard work and dedication was for. To watch the nationals routine visit Varsitywired.com.

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