Cheerleaders preparing for Florida


Yang Chen

Pitt-Johnstown cheerleaders prepare Feb. 13 for The National Cheerleaders Assocaition competition at Turner’s All-Star Cheerleading.

Yang Chen, Sports Editor

The Pitt-Johnstown cheerleading team is to raise money to compete against collegiate cheerleading squads at The National Cheerleaders Association in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The cheerleader team president, junior Emily Kaczmarek, said the fundraising starts the day they get back from Christmas break and doesn’t stop until the day they leave for Florida in April. 

“Out of 18 girls, 11 are new and seven are from last year.

“We had a lot of seniors last year who graduated; however, there was a gap in the classes, so this year we actually do not have any seniors. Our highest class is junior.

“The spring semester, however, is crunch time. From now until March, we practice three times a week, and from March until April, it’s almost every other day we practice.

“Personally, I think this team is an improvement from last year. Each year, the cheerleading program gets better and better.

“We are very proud with our placement last year but we are eager and excited to see how we do this year. 

“The showcase would just introduce the team and show everyone what we’ve been working on all year long. I’m still working on the details for that,” Kaczmarek said.

Junior cheer team member Dani Dubrosky said the team’s newcomers are a good fit. 

“We had a lot of cheerleaders not return from last year. But, with that being said, the girls we got are absolutely amazing. 

“They really completed our team to make us the absolute best we can possibly be.

“With all this being said, we still have to pay $400 to be on the team.

“I would like to add that the team is much more than just cheering at games. 

“We are having a sendoff on campus for the 2019 nationals, and we would love for everyone to come see what we actually do,” Dubrosky said.

Sophomore team member Sammie Thomas said they practice throughout the year, and when the Florida competition gets closer they start to add additional practices to make their schedule where they strictly run routines and perfect their performances.

“Our goal is to place in the top three at nationals. Fifth is the best the team has done at this level, and we plan to improve and place higher.

“The team dynamic was different than last year. Between transfers and graduating seniors, we had a lot of roster changes.

“Our team has been through a lot, and puts in a lot of hard work. It would be awesome people to watch our journey and see us represent Pitt-Johnstown and succeed down at Nationals,” Thomas said.

Sophomore cheer team member Tessa Fry said team members are motivated to represent Pitt-Johnstown.

“Throughout the season, many girls have come and gone. We are a very dedicated and determined team to represent our school in the highest manner.

“We aren’t a recognized sport here on campus, but we try our best to represent the school in the highest manner,” Fry said.