CHATHAM, NJ - The boys and girls basketball teams are getting extra support this season from the Chatham cheerleading squad.
After an eight-year hiatus, the cheerleaders have returned to perform indoors. In the fall, the cheerleaders, under the direction of coach Kristiann Puorro, placed second in a competition held at West Morris Central. The squad received approval from the Board of Education to go forward with the program and the Chatham Athletic Boosters provided the funds to get started.
The 10-girl team cheered for both the girls and boys Saturday on Cougar Night, throwing T-shirts to the fans and performing a routine during halftime of each game.
"A lot of my fellow classmates are really glad we have the program," freshman cheerleader Kristye Deter said.
There are no seniors on the squad. Deter is joined by fellow freshmen Ashley Williams, Dani Coates, Lindsey Stinson and Manna Takagi. The sophomores include Meghan Keefe, Meg Gordon and Victoria Rasmussen. The junior co-captains are Shelby Stinson and Maya Stevenson.
The "Sixth Man" section was at its height during the Billy Oliver era of Chatham basketball. Perhaps, the "Sixth Man" homecourt advantage will return now that the cheerleaders are there, too.