South Plainfield High School’s undefeated Varsity Competition Cheer team took home two State Championship titles for the second consecutive year in a row at the New Jersey Cheerleading & Dance Coaches Association (NJCDCA) State championship tournament. The tournament was held at Brookdale Community College in Lyncroft on February 29th. Our team competed and garnished a title in both the Group 2 and Varsity Cheer Dance Medium Division, in addition to their two state championship titles, the team received the third highest overall score in the state across all divisions which includes over 50 different teams ranging from small-mega as well as coed teams.
The team is led by Coach Jaime Moran and Assistant Coach Erin Klimchak, as well as Alea Watson, who stepped in as a Volunteer Coach this season. Our team consists of 17 athletes, however, due to an athletic injury, 16 athletes took the mat at the State Championship.
In honor of the team’s state championship win, the Lady Tigers received an official escort, filled with lights and sirens, from the SPPD and SPFD back to the high school following the February 29th competition. Parents, friends, and supporters also gathered at the corner of Plainfield and Lane avenues to cheer on the team.
Practice for the Competition Cheer team begins in June and continues through to the end of their season in March. The amount of time, dedication, commitment, and work these athletes put into this sport is not only remarkable, but truly pays off. This sport is not like any other in that it is a full team sport. The team must work together as one, and there is no recovering from any mistake. Everyone must give it their all and do their part in order to make it work. Not only must elite stunting and tumbling skills be executed, but the timing in every part of the routine must be spot on. Motions, jumps, technique, execution, precision, level of difficulty (just to name a few) is being judged and critiqued. You get two minutes and thirty seconds to give it your all- one mistake and the whole routine can be thrown. This team has truly exemplified the ability to work as and become one. We have become a family both on and off the mat, and that is certainly one of the most rewarding parts. In addition, each athlete has shown tremendous growth and ability both individually, and as a team throughout this season. There is so much to be proud of! “The work is worth it- One Team, One Family!”
Zoe Lambert (Senior, Captain)
Danielle McParland (Senior, Captain)
Brianna Padovano (Senior, Captain)
Mackenzie Surowiec (Senior)
Alicia Vazquez (Senior)
Jennifer Giannakis (Junior)
Katelyn Luster (Junior)
Nicolle Marish (Junior)
Xenia Lambert (Sophomore)
Antonella Notino (Sophomore)
Isabella Saffold (Sophomore)
Jenna Slover (Sophomore)
Jessica Craggan (Freshman)
Riley Griffen (Freshman)
Melissia Leon-Tamara (Freshman)
Shannon Rose O’Flaherty (Freshman)
Madelynn Pfeiffer (Freshman)