RANDOLPH, NJ - The Randolph high school gym was filled with energy and spirit on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 29, as over 160 smiling faces ran onto the gym floor dancing and clapping in unison. The routine is repeated annually and could mean only one thing: the Randolph Recreation Cheerleading Exhibition had just begun.
In an impressive display of precision, Bulldog Cheerleaders of all levels, from grades 3 through 8, ran in single file, dancing to the current pop song “Shake it Off ” by Taylor Swift.
After the high-energy opening act, an a cappella National Anthem was delivered by seventh-grade cheerleader Jenna Manderioli.
Debbie Whiting, director of the cheerleading program, welcomed everyone, and took a moment to recognize all the girls out on the floor. Whiting pointed out the hard work they put in all season long, and said they should “all be proud of both their individual, and their squads accomplishments.”
The 8th Grade Varsity kicked the exhibition back into high gear, performing their “Mighty Varsity” Cheer with conviction.
The high school varsity squad then took the floor, and demonstrated for all what the next level of cheerleading is all about. They wowed the crowd with a dazzling display of dance moves, flips, pyramids and stunts, tossing flyers high into the air.
One by one, Whiting then introduced the squads onto the floor to perform, starting with the youngest. Each one performed the “Hello” cheer, followed by a dance routine. The squad moms then introduced their coaches, who are either current HS cheerleaders or former Bulldog cheerleaders, thanking them for their time and commitment.
The girls were then announced individually to receive their trophies, and the next age group was invited onto the floor for their turn to perform.
This was Whiting’s first year directing the program on her own, after working many years with Trish Marciano. The program however, didn’t miss a beat, and Whiting was quick to thank the many parents, volunteers, and others who all who supported her and the program.
The evenings’ program recognized in detail many of the specific contributors and supporters Whiting was expressing her gratitude to, as she stated, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for stepping up and helping out when it came down to it. I am humbled by the service of others.”
Varsity Squad mom Cheryl Freund took a moment to praise Whiting, getting a chuckle from the crowd when she said “Deb is the only person I know, who can put her blood, sweat and tears into running this program, and still look so good.”
Special recognition was made at the end of the evening for the longest tenured cheerleaders, members of the “six year club.” They are Natasha Alessandra, Jenna Barbiere, Alexis Dell’Orto, Loren Ellentuck, Sarah Freund, Katelyn Messina, Jessica Nodine, Nicole Nodine, and Emma Swayze.
A video slideshow of the evening: