RANDOLPH, NJ - Energy and team spirit filled the air inside the Randolph High School gym on Wednesday Nov. 11, as the Randolph Bulldogs Recreation cheerleaders wowed the crowd at their annual exhibition.
The Bulldog Cheerleaders, who range from third to eighth grade, showcased their hello cheer and halftime performance in front of friends and family. They were then introduced individually to receive their year-end trophy.
Program director Debbie Whiting said, “All of our cheerleaders should be proud of both their individual and squad’s accomplishments.”
Whiting also expressed appreciation for the different people who help make the program run smoothly, stating, “All of the girls’ accomplishments are possible due to the many individuals who help make our program a success every year.”
Whiting offered a special thanks to the recreation department, as well as the squad leaders (or team moms) who oversee all aspects of their squad/grade level. Whiting also praised the coaching team made up of Randolph High School cheerleaders, about whom she said, “Committed an incredible amount of time and energy to teaching jumps, dances and stunts, and worked endlessly on improving routines to make sure all the girls were ready.”
Laurie Templeton, Varsity Squad Mom who has been with the Cheer Program for 10 years, offered her won praise and thanks to Whiting, stating, “I can’t imagine being responsible for close to 200 cheerleaders, 30+ coaches, and 20 or so squad advisors, not to mention having to answer to a few hundred parents.”
Templeton continued, “No one gets more joy watching each squad perform and accomplish their stunting goals, and no one cares as deeply about these girls as Debbie does. She’s put her heart, soul and countless hours into making this program successful.”
For third graders who are on the pre-clinic squad, this was their first time performing at the year end show. The exhibition has made them excited to continue on next season where they left off.
“I can't wait to cheer next year,” said Alice Kazell, a member of the pre-clinic squad.
Randolph High School competition and football cheerleaders as well as former Bulldogs Cheerleaders coach the squads.
According to coach Jessica Freund, the girls have been practicing their routines since the summer and have been performing them at every Bulldogs’ football game.
Over the years, the Bulldogs program has seen an increase in the number of cheerleaders. Year after year, the older girls continue to increase the difficulty in the stunts, cheer and dance as they get ready to transition over to the high school.
The exhibition also featured a performance by the Randolph High School Competition cheerleaders. The performance was a great way to get the Bulldog cheerleaders excited to continue their cheerleading careers as Rams in the high school. The Rams are coached by Kim Moreno, Chelsea Schumacher, Melissa McHugh and Jennifer Falvieno.
It was a bittersweet moment for the Varsity ( 8th grade ) Bulldog Cheerleaders. Many of them have been part of the program for all six years and will miss performing as a bulldog. The varsity cheerleaders were part of a special moment as they were each introduced and escorted onto the court by a member of the varsity football team. A football signed by the squad was given to the player, and a mini cheer megaphone signed by the football team was given to the cheerleader.
Special recognition was given to the girls who made it through the program for six consecutive years. Those girls are: Daniella Dasti, Carleigh Dean, Gia Esposito, Evelyn Swayze, Olivia Howell, Jenna Manderioli, Emily Tully, Katelyn Oh, Emily Plaskon, Kiara Templeton
Bulldogs Varsity Cheerleader Kiara Templeton, one of the six year veterans who has been part of the program since third grade said, “I’m sad that it’s over but there is an opportunity ( in high school ) to keep doing it.”