By MIKE SMITH
On Nov. 21, the Mamaroneck cheer squad kicked off its season in high style, taking third place at the 65th annual Westchester Cheerleading Invitational at the County Center in White Plains.
For the Tigers, the opportunity to go up against the best squads in the area and come away with a
trophy should be a big boost as they look ahead to future competitions.
Although the Tigers returned a few athletes from last year’s team, head cheer coach Lisa Ferraro said her squad was relatively inexperienced when it comes to participating on such a big stage.
“It was definitely a surprise because we have a young team,” she said of the third place finish. “But the way they worked in practice, I really thought they were going to have a good chance to place.”
Ferraro admitted the team entered the competition somewhat behind the eight ball due to its lack of tumbling, but was able to overcome that en route to the third place finish.
“For us, its hard because we don’t have the tumbling,” she said. “So we’ve got to have the equivalent difficulty with our stunts and we have to be precise with our routine.”
Senior captain Kimberly Ramos said that, although the routine went off without a hitch, there was still tension as they awaited the judges’ verdict.
“I thought it went pretty well,” she said. “But really, you just kind of have to wait and see.”
Ramos said that, as one of the senior captains, she was charged with shepherding the squad’s younger players through the stress of performing in front of a raucous crowd.
“It’s definitely the biggest event of the year for us,” she said. “But you know it’s not life-or-death. You just have to be enthusiastic.”
The Tigers’ enthusiasm shin-ed off the mat as well as the team was given the Spirit Award for their display of good sportsmanship. This is the fourth straight year the Tigers have come away with the award.
“It’s all about being peppy,” Ramos said. “It’s something that we look forward to winning.”
Mamaroneck will likely compete at two or three more events in January, although, according to Ferraro, the dates and locations have yet to be decided.
Regardless of what lies ahead for the Tigers, a third-place finish at the County Center should give the squad some momentum as they train for their upcoming competitions.
“We were right back at it on Monday, getting ready,” Ferraro said. “But when you look at what we did and the other elite cheer squads that were at the County Center, for us to take home a trophy is a real honor.”