Tumbling under the radar
April 25, 2018
Although they are classified as a club, Suffolk University cheerleading has a bond that resembles all the qualities of a team.
In only their second year reestablished as a club, the squad took home a second place finish in their first competition, the White Mountain Championship, in Derry, NH this past Sunday.
The Suffolk Cheerleading Varsity Club was first established in 1948 and ran its course for more than 60 years. After fizzling out in 2010, the group sprung back to life last year, but this time just as a club.
“Whether we placed first, second or third, it’s the fact that we placed,” said cheerleading Secretary Daelyn Marrow in an interview with The Suffolk Journal on Tuesday. “We’re a team with a lot of people that have never cheered before. With our limited resources things didn’t really come together for us until that day and it felt good because we have overcome so much.”
The club, which started with 20 members and dropped down to 10 cheerleaders, has faced their fair share of adversities throughout the past two semesters. With a small amount of funds, the club only had enough money to continue practicing through February. Luckily after requesting more of a budget from SGA Initiatives, the squad was granted the money to continue practicing and paying their coach.
As for their uniforms and sneakers, each member had to pay out of their own pocket. When the group practices in the Ridgeway Gym, they only have access to one mat, which according to members of the squad, is the smallest of spaces to work with. The team has also had times where they have resorted to practicing in a classroom, where they are unfortunately unable to stunt.
Head coach Tainara Giacomini said that the team should be proud for how far they have come. She explained that it is incredible that they are competing in just their second year as a club.
“We had a lot of doors slammed in our face and a lot of bumps in the road, but when they announced us I was in shock,” said Giacomini in an interview with The Journal. “I couldn’t have been happier. The feeling is indescribable.”
Giacomini also added that she is excited to continue growing with this team and expects that they will eventually be able to place first in a competition. She said that this is the most motivated group of girls that she has encountered and that because of their accomplishments she hopes the school will recognize them with more funding.
“If I can tell you something about those 10 girls, they are going to be the most successful women that I have come across,” said Giacomini.
In an effort to improve the squad’s skills, the team fundraised money in order to be able to have extra practice time before their competition. Cheer treasurer Ali D’Arcangelo explained that the routine they performed was something that was not perfected until the actual day of competition.
“It was very nerve racking and I was really worried on how we would do,” said D’Arcangelo in an interview with The Journal. “Practicing on one mat in the gym and the classroom is a big difference. After competition I was really proud with how we did.”
By placing in this competition the team qualified to go to Nationals, but unfortunately will not be able to due to the semester ending. Because the cheerleading squad is a club at the university, unlike the varsity sports, their season ends with the academic year.
For the future Suffolk Cheer plans to keep fundraising, recruiting and moving in a path towards getting better resources. They also plan to participate in competitions earlier in the season so that they can make it to Nationals.
“Were looking for commitment and people with positive energy,” said Marrow. “If you want to be dedicated and part of a great group of women, come and join.”