Bucs cheerleaders net state four-peat
KIHS bounces back from thirdplace finish in semis with stellar performance in finals
BEL AIR — The Kent Island High varsity cheerleading team took its fourth consecutive state championship on Saturday.
“This team has worked so hard these past few months, showing complete commitment and dedication,” Kent Island coach Molly Hustead said. “I am amazed at how well they push through any obstacles that stand in their way. I could not have asked for a better performance to take their fourth state title.”
The Maryland Cheer Association is comprised of Kent Island and all of the high schools in Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard, Harford, Carroll, Montgomery, Cecil, Frederick and Charles counties. Currently, Kent Island is the only team from the Eastern Shore competing in the Maryland Cheer Association. Kent Island competes against all of the 1A/2A division schools from the aforementioned counties.
To get to the state competition, Kent Island had to be in the quarter scoring teams. The score the schools received at semifinals was added to the score earned at the state competition, and totaled to determine who was the top team for the state title.
Going into the state championships, Kent Island had a fall during their semifinal performance and placed third. It placed the Buccaneers at a disadvantage coming into the state competition, but their skills prevailed and landed them an overall first-place finish, while Harford Tech placed second.
“A cheer routine is scored on partner stunts, basket tosses, a pyramid section,
jumps, tumbling, dance and cheer,” coach Laura Schroyer said. “Sections are scored according to their difficulty as well as how well they were executed.
“Kent Island is known to have the most [difficult routine] in terms of tumbling, stunting and pyramids when compared with high schools across the state of Maryland,” Schroyer added. “Our cheerleaders condition year round so that they have the physical capability to execute the difficult stunting and tumbling skills that are in our routines. Their dedication and determination is what makes them such a force to be reckoned with.”
The team is led by senior captains Holly Schultz, Kyleigh Meehan and Mallory Smelgus. The team is composed of a total of 21 athletes, including Jake Hurman, Savannah Long, Summer Alexander, Caroline Claborn, Aly Madigan, Claudia Schultz, Anna Wong, Julia Meyers, Skyler Brazell, Maggie Groff, Emma Trinkley, Sydney Bowman, Sydney Leonardi, Ashley Martin, Bella Brooks, Kristen Hatch, Megan O’Hare and Rachael Michalski.
“I’m so proud of my team,” head coach Meghan Arboleda said. “They could have given up and caved in to a bad performance, which put them in third place heading to states. They overcame their issues, persevered and put on the best performance have ever seen.
“They put in so much practice time to prepare for this moment and as a coach, it’s all I could have asked for,” Arboleda added. “Their performance was perfection, I love my kids; Go Bucs!”
Kent Island High School Varsity Cheer Team took its fourth straight state title Saturday at Harford Community College.
The Kent Island High School Varsity Cheer Team performs at the state competition at Harford Community College.