Kyriacou said that the squad’s current captains –– Juliana Dijkstra, Brianna Frobosilo and Kelly Cates –– have been strong leaders and role models for the team. Now, in anticipation of the nationals, it’s time to get serious, they said. “It’s straight business,” Dijkstra said of the competition. Cheerleading “is physically and mentally challenging. It’s not about ‘cheering on the boys.’”
Cates, who is also a lacrosse player, noted that the squad practices hard throughout the week. The program has come a long way in recent years, she said, and she has been happy to be a part of it.
Frobosilo, a senior, said that being a member of the cheerleading team has made her high school experience rewarding. The positive attitude that she and the other seniors have shown during practices, she said, has helped the squad succeed in competition.
Kiara Kaylor, another senior squad member, said that the upperclassmen act as guides and mentors of younger cheerleaders. “We can show them how to get serious when we need to, but have fun when necessary,” she said. “We’ve become really close, and we’re like a family.”
Squad members began practicing their routine in August. Kyriacou said they are now looking to perfect it in time for the nationals, since the stunts their competitors perform are only getting more complex.
Senior Karla Veras said that Kyriacou has done an excellent job of motivating the team. “We know Coach K can be tough, but she has good intentions,” Veras said. “She pushes us to our full potential.”
The squad took first place at the Empire Regional competition at Sachem North High School on Dec. 14, and will compete at Hofstra University on Jan. 11. Kyriacou said that critiques from such competitions have helped the squad tighten its routine.
“We want those white jackets,” she said of the championship prize.