Pittsfield Cheerleaders Excel at League Championships
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- It took more than a flood to sink the Pittsfield High cheerleading team.
In fact, it looked on Sunday like no natural disaster could deter the Generals in their quest for a league title and a shot at the national championships.
Pittsfield posted the best score of any of the 14 varsity teams competing at Sunday’s Berkshire County-Pioneer Valley Championships at PHS.
And they did so while overcoming a series of distractions.
“I was worried because of the fire, it kind of disrupted our practice time,” PHS coach Shavelle Boire said, referring to an overnight fire that caused smoke damage at the school just before the February vacation. “And then we had a flood here at Pittsfield High School. That kind of interrupted our practice. And then setting up last night until 10 o'clock at night, and they were here at 7 o'clock this morning.”
In all, Boire said the Generals lost two or three days of practice heading into their biggest meet of the season.
“There were just minor things like one day we came here and our mats were missing, so we couldn't practice that day,” she said. “We had to search for our mats. Just different obstacles.
“So when I got that call from [Vice Principal] Henry Duval saying we could still have this competition, I was like, 'Yes!' “
The positive feelings continued right through Sunday afternoon, when Division 3 Pittsfield’s score of 90.4 eclipsed the 85.9 earned by D2 champion Chicopee Comp and qualified Pittsfield for the nationals in Orlando, Fla.
“We’ve been trying to hit this core,” Boire said. “A national score is an 88, so we hit that national bid.”
Pittsfield also qualified for next week’s Massachusetts regionals, as did Drury High and Mount Everett, who qualified as the Berkshire County champion in the Division 4 and Coed divisions, respectively.
PHS has been impressing throughout the competition, earning grand champion honors along the way, but Sunday’s performance had something extra, senior co-captain Caitlynn Drosehn said.
“It felt great,” she said. “We hit solidly for the first time all year in all parts. We're just trying to keep developing our skills. We just want to push ourselves to get higher points and better ourselves in general.”
And in addition to the fire, the flood and the missing mats, the Generals had another potential distraction to overcome on Sunday.
“I felt a little extra pressure. I think all of us did,” Drosehn said. “Because we had family members here who had never seen us in competition before at all. But that pushes us to do better for our family and our friends.”
Game Day Competiton
1. South Hadley, 258.3 points
2. Wahconah, 247.8 points
1. Chicopee Comp, 68.4
2. Springfield Central, 65.0
3. West Springfield, 57.6
1. Pittsfield, 90.4
2. Longmeadow, 73.4
3. Ludlow, 68.5
1. Sabis, 69.0
2. Easthampton, 68.2
3. Drury, 67.9
1. Chicopee Comp, 85.9
2. West Springfield, 81.5
3. Springfield Central, 67.0
4. Holyoke, 65.8
1. Monson, 68.2
2. Mount Everett, 58.2
3. Agawam, 575.
4. Minnechaug, 57.2