By Jim Ferchland
The Eagles’ consistency and dominance is second to none when it comes to high school varsity cheerleading.
Rocky Point claimed its third cheerleading county championship in Division I medium varsity Feb. 24 at West Islip High School in front of a boisterous crowd shouting out Rocky Point’s name. The Eagles finished with 94.6 points, the highest overall score of the day.
“It feels amazing,” head coach Anna Spallina said. “There’s so much pressure on me to always compete and be on top. I think it’s just my personality. Climbing to the top is always good but once you’re up there, it’s harder to stay at the top.”
Before the meet on Saturday, Rocky Point was down in Orlando, Florida for nationals. After earning a pass straight to the finals, the Eagles’ performance put them in a disappointing seventh place.
“It’s a sport,” Spallina said. “Like any other sport, you’re going to have a good day and a bad day. It’s just the way it is.”
Northport finished second (81.2), Newfield third (67.3) and Kings Park fourth (65.9).
Mount Sinai was the only Division II large school in the competition. They finished with a score of 87.7. Mustangs head coach Kara Bochicchio said there still was competition — themselves.
“It was really just about going out there and trying to perform the best routine they could,” Bochicchio said. “Throughout the whole routine, there was fight. It might not have been the most perfect routine of the day, but they fought for everything tooth and nail. I’m really proud of them.”
Mount Sinai senior Charlotte Fiordalisi said there’s no way better to finalize the season with a county championship, especially after the Mustangs also finished nationals in fourth place.
“I’m just really proud of my team,” Fiordalisi said. “My first ever competition six years ago was here and my last competition being here is bittersweet. It was a great way to finish the season. I’m just living in the moment.”
Miller Place finished first in Division II Medium varsity. The Panthers had 68.5 points to Hampton Bays’ 45.2. The pair are the only two teams in the division.
To wrap up the day was the Division I large school, Sachem North (88.7) earned first place over Ward Melville by one point.
“They really amaze me,” Ward Melville head coach Christine Perretta said of her team. “They never let anything defeat them. We pushed through every routine and they’ve definitely gone further than they’ve ever gone for Ward Melville. They don’t stop until the end.”
Ward Melville senior Kara Manuud has been with the team since her sophomore year. She said she was confident in the Patriots’ routine.
“Just being on that mat one final time, I knew nothing could go wrong,” Manuud said. “We have the skill, we’ve had all the practice we could have and it was just the matter of perfecting that and showing it on the mat.”
The Patriots took eighth place in nationals this year, and senior Courtney Cardillo said it feels good to finish her high school career on a higher note.
“After getting eighth, we worked really hard this past week,” Cardillo said. “We came in stronger than we’ve ever been. We hit a bunch of routines. We showed them what we deserved and who we are.”