By PATRICIA YATES
The University of Mary Washington Cheer team hopes to compete in Reach the Beach competition again this year in April in Ocean City, Maryland after placing third in their division last year. Since last April, the team has nearly doubled in size and would put them into a different division this year. Last year they competed in the small collegiate division and this year might be competing in the large collegiate division.
“Last year we ended the season with 13 girls and this season we have over 30 people on our team. It’s a big change for us to have such a big team but it’s also really great, this team is so talented and I’m incredibly excited to see where we end up at the end of the season,” said senior theatre major and team co-captain Amanda Callender. She has been on the team for all four years and this is her second year being a co-captain.
Having more people this season opens the team up to do more things than they have previously been able to do. According to Callender, the team has been working on cleaning up their routine while conditioning and practicing stunting and tumbling.
President and co-captain of the UMW cheer team senior Marlaina Astorino has been on the team all four years of her time with UMW said, “It’s actually been a really gratifying experience, starting at UMW Cheer with maybe 10 people on the team, then every year our skill levels and our numbers increased and now we have over 30 and are able to build pyramids that I couldn’t imagine as a freshman. And to think that I was a part of it is really exciting.”
Rebecca Dzieciolowski is a junior psychology major and in the elementary education program. This is her second year on the team and first year as co-captain. When asked how the team is adjusting to the new size, she replied, “It’s been an adjustment because we’ve had to figure out how to fit that many people on the sideline but so far it’s been great and I’m really excited to see what we’re capable of and to showcase it all at competition in April.”
All three co-captains are excited and looking forward to showing off the team’s new size and increased talent throughout the year as well as at the Reach the Beach competition this year. While it may have been a shock to have their numbers doubled, they are ready to practice and learn new routines to show what talent UMW has to offer.