For the second time in Seaford High School history, the varsity cheerleading squad has qualified to compete for the National High School Cheerleading Championship (NHSCC) this winter.
The competition, considered the most prestigious cheerleading championship in the country, will be held at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 9-10. It will be televised on ESPN and ESPN2 to over 100 million homes around the world.
The squad qualified for the national tournament after competing in the small varsity coed, division II regionals on the Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA) circuit in Toms River, N.J.
“The team really pulled together and put on a solid performance,” said Coach Lisa Ferrari. “Stunting is the biggest strength; they can do incredible things in the air.”
As the team stood in nervous knots just before the results were announced, UCA judges acknowledged how hard hit Long Island was by Superstorm Sandy, noting how much was lost personally, including 11 days of valuable practice time.
“When they announced that we were going to nationals and gave us a first-place trophy, the team erupted with excitement,” Ferrari said. “I’ve never seen so many happy tears.”
What’s more, a cheerleading coach from St. John’s University expressed interest in recruiting team member Vinny Vigna.
“Amazing,” Ferrari added, “I can’t describe it any other way.”
Members of the squad include Captain Kelly Ackerman (senior); Michaela Arguello (sophomore); Jamie Bouretis (junior); Emily Burdick (junior); Captain Erin Burdick (senior); Tiffany Casella (eighth grade); Kristina D'Amore (senior); Stephanie Fischetto (senior); Raquel Gamboa (senior); Heather Gentil (senior); Alexis Guadagno (senior); Taylor Higgins (senior); Captain Amanda Leonardi (senior); Makalya MacSaveny (senior); Captain Erin McClinchey (senior); Mackenzie Meyer (junior); Cindy Neiman (junior); Nancy Pecora (senior); Austin Quiroz (senior); Stephanie Ruttura (junior); Kayla Simak (senior) Madison Skretch (senior); and Vinny Vigna (senior).