SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - The South Brunswick High School varsity competition cheerleading team is heading to the National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida on February 6. The championship contains around 500 schools from around the country competing in game day and competition cheer. This is the fifth time in the last six years that the South Brunswick team has made it to the national competition. Last year they came in sixth in the game day competition.
Victoria Breese has been a head coach of the South Brunswick varsity team for the past six years, she is also a seventh grade writing teacher at Crossroads South Middle School. Breese said that she has witnessed her team grow and become better with every year. The team's placement at sixth place at last year's game was a major stepping stone for the team.
“It was a huge accomplishment, and we were definitely surprised by it,” Breese said. “We were really surprised and didn’t think we would rank this high. We had a great final performance that bumped us up. It was so exciting.”
This year, the South Brunswick cheerleading team contains 12 members placing them in the small varsity division. In the past, Breese has only dealt with teams in the medium and small team. Breese says that the team's biggest strong point is their ability to overcome adversity and challenges that have been thrown at them. She also highlights the fact that the team truly enjoys each other's company and spends a lot of time together outside of practice.
“They love to hang out with one another, whether it's going to see a movie or having dinner they all spend a lot of time with one another and have developed a real friend group,” Breese said. “It's not like we are forcing them to come together as a team because it's kind of natural because they really do view themselves as a family.”
Breese added that the team has crowd appeal and a high level of energy for both game day and traditional performance. Placing in sixth last year has been a key motivator for these cheerleaders and an incentive to keep going in hopes of placing higher this time around.
The team has four seniors on this varsity team, including Casey Contreras, Zyunzy Johnson, Sara Mannuzza and Sam Pereira. Breese praised them for their leadership and their motivation in practice and during performances.