The competition keeps getting better, and yet the Chesapeake cheerleading program keeps asserting its grip on the county.
Will the state be next? That answer will come on November 10. In the meantime, the Cougars are Anne Arundel County champs.
Chesapeake earned that title for the 16th time in program history on October 24, placing first at the county championship meet at North County High School to outperform runner-up Arundel, third-place Broadneck and the rest of the county field.
The Cougars’ nearly flawless routine earned a score of 126.5 out of 130, which set a high bar to clear for regions on November 3 and states on November 10. (Notably, Chesapeake still holds the record for highest score ever at the state championship meet, a 148.55 out of 150 in 2013).
Senior captain Lindsey Peterson said the Cougars’ teamwork was evident in the result.
“I think we worked really well as a team. The week leading up we practiced really hard, and we came together as a team. We hit our stuff, and good things happened,” Peterson said, adding the Cougars are not finished improving yet. “To win states, each performance when we compete our goal is to do better than the time before.”
The team of Peterson, Amber Brisbane, Ashley Brewis, Carlie Wilkins, Emma McNamara, Ethena Stallings, Jessica Dixon, Julia Nicoli, Kelli Hawkins, Kennedy McNulty, Liley Simmons, Mackenzie Porter, Maddie Gray, Makayla Frommelt, Rachel Snyder, Savannah Wright, Shaylah Hunt, Sierra Finnerty, Skylar Storm, Faith Todd, Haley Steele and Isabelle Hann, coached by head coach Lisa Elliott and assistant coaches Lauryn Freburger, Joe Vecchioni and Nicki Abey, has timed its arc of growth to peak in the postseason.
“I’m just so proud of my team and how far they’ve come because from the beginning of the season to now, we’ve gone through hard practices and hard times, and always through to the end we work together and do what we have to do to make things work,” said Finnerty, also a senior captain.
Wright said even though the competition continually improves, the Cougars’ drive comes from within.
“In practice, we don’t settle for less,” Wright said. “We push, not to beat other teams, but to be the best version of ourselves, individually and as a team.”
Stallings bridged the past with the present and the future in speaking of Chesapeake’s cheerleading culture.
“Our feeder program with the Panthers has always helped Chesapeake and helped us become the cheerleaders we are now,” Stallings said.
Look no further than the Chesapeake JV cheerleading team for proof, as the JV Cougars likewise captured the county championship on October 24 to make it a clean Chesapeake sweep of the county.
The Cougar JV team of Alycia Mecka, Ashley Robinson, Avianna Negron, Bri Krammer, Emily Malle, Hailey Gouin, Marina Woodling, Ryah Pelley, Sadie Golden, Savannah Davis, Tamaya White, coached by head coach Arynn Freburger and assistant coach Taylor Sank, had mixed levels of experience but came together for a win at North County.
“They have come so far since August, with great leadership from their captains, and I am beyond proud of the way they came together as a family,” said coach Freburger.