Submitted by BHS Cheer Boosters
While most of the Bedford High School Varsity winter team sports seasons have come to an end, one group of athletes is preparing for a state level competition this weekend.
BHS Varsity Cheerleading will compete against seven other teams in the Small School Coed Division at the MSAA Winter Cheerleading State Championship at the Worcester State University Wellness Center this Sunday, with Bedford competing at approximately 11 a.m.
The team is excited about their achievements this year!
“I can’t think of a better way to bring my last season of high school varsity competitive cheerleading to a close than by being part of a highly skilled team of my friends, that’s advancing to the State competition,” said Senior Captain Shane Metcalf. In his four years competing with the cheer team as a back spot, Shane received DCL All-Star honors in 2021, and this is the first year his team is advancing beyond Regional level competition to the States.
Sophomore flyer and tumbler Katie Schmidt said, “I truly would not be where I am today without my teammates, as well as Coach Blette, because she pushed me when I doubted myself most and made me realize I am capable of so much more. I can’t thank the team and my Coach enough; they are truly like family to me.”
Dr. Erin Blette, the BHS Cheer Head Coach, with over two decades of cheer experience, joined the team this year and as a result, the team sees her addition as an integral part of their success this winter season.
There is a great deal of athleticism that is required to cheer competitively, at any level. The coach explains, “Each school competes in a division of like-sized schools. Bedford is in the small coed division and will compete against some very talented teams. Teams are judged by eight judges, two per category. These judges assess difficulty and technique for stunts (lifting athletes into the air), pyramids (complex lifting structures), tumbling (flips), jumps, motions, and dance. Overall performance is also factored into the score. It is important to not only complete difficult skills but to do them well and make them look effortless.”
Senior Arianna Triplett, who has a role of main base, added, “Going to states for the first time, and it being my senior year, is truly an amazing feeling! Cheerleading requires so much athleticism and hard work that people don’t see, but if it weren’t for the strong connection that we have as a team, we would not have made it to this point.”
Heading towards her final high school cheer competition, in the role of side base, Senior Captain Liv DiSaronno reflected on all that she has experienced in the sport over her four years on the team, including being honored as a DCL All-Star in 2022 and being named Varsity Cheer Captain. She is particularly proud of this season’s squad saying, “Every person plays a crucial part on this team, and we couldn’t have made it this far without each other. I am thankful for these opportunities and grateful to my Coach and team.”
The demand for physical strength, dance prowess, and a high degree of proficiency with running and standing tumbling, are priorities for advancement in competitions. Cheer stunting requires tremendous trust/teamwork, coordination, learning complex routines, and precise timing, all of which need to be perfected for higher scores and minimizing injuries, as shown in photos enclosed from the MSAA Northeast Regional Competition last weekend.
Sophomore flyer and tumbler Steph Kezima said, “I am very grateful to have been a part of this team and to see my dedication to this sport have such a positive outcome. I cannot wait to compete this weekend with my friends, and I know we will all do amazing!”
Siena Brickman, a back spot and tumbler on the team, an athlete from the Class of 2026 performing with winter cheer said, “With Coach Blette coming in this season she helped me open up to new skills and opportunities. Without this support for all of us, we would have never made it to States. It’s not just about that though, it’s the bond we have created that makes it all worth the work.”
Come cheer on the BHS Varsity Cheerleaders at States! Make it a field trip day for your family, especially if you have an aspiring athlete gymnast, tumbler, dancer, cheerleader in your family! Plan to arrive early. Event information and links to the pre-paid ticketing (required) can be found at https://msaa.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/W23-STATES-Order-of-Appearance.pdf). Doors open at 10am.