SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – South Plainfield High School (SPHS) Competition Cheer team are, following a win in Trenton on Saturday, the best in the state.
The team, which went undefeated this season for the first time in its 21-year history, took home first place in both the ‘Group 2 Varsity Cheer Dance’ and ‘Medium Cheer Dance Varsity” Division at the New Jersey Cheerleading & Dance Coaches Association (NJCDCA) State Championships.
“I am beyond honored and proud to be the coach of such an amazing group of girls. From start to finish these girls never ceased to amaze me. We accomplished things that have never been done before,” said Jaime Giannakis, a SPHS guidance counselor who took on the position as the team’s head coach this year.
The SPHS Competition Cheer Team, which is led by Giannakis and Assistant Coach Erin Klimchak, took first place at each of the eight competitions this year and also brought home a record three ‘Grand Champ’ trophies. The team is comprised of 15 students in 9th through 12th grade, including seniors Rebecca Bloch (co-captain), Brianna Slover (co-captain), and Brianna Crenshaw; juniors Zoe Lambert, Danielle McParland, Brianna Padovano, Mackenzie Surowiec, and Alicia Vazquez; sophomores Jennifer Giannakis and Katelyn Luster; and freshmen Xenia Lambert, Jenna Slover, Isabella Saffold, Alyssa Vella, and Angelique Weaver.
In honor of team’s undefeated season and state championship win, the Lady Tigers received an official escort, complete with lights and sirens, back to the high school following the Feb. 16 competition. Parents, friends, and supporters also gathered at the corner of Plainfield and Lane avenues to cheer on their team.
“So much hard work and dedication went into getting us here and we, of course couldn’t have done it without all of the parent support,” said Giannakis. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to make history with and I am really so proud!”
The SPHS Competition Cheer will head to Ocean City, MD next weekend and are scheduled to compete on both Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 in the Reach the Beach Cheer Nationals Competition.
“What a better way to end our season. I am so excited to celebrate our victory in Maryland, and give the girls one last opportunity to preform and give their all," said Giannakis, adding, "This team is truly so special, and I have the utmost confidence in them. Each time I think I couldn’t have a prouder moment they manage to top it. No matter what happens we can walk away from this season knowing that we have without a doubt made history!”
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