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North Branford Cheerleaders Clean Up at NECA Competition

The North Branford cheerleading squad earned seven awards, including Best All-Around Team, at NECA camp.

The North Branford High School T-Birds' cheerleading squad shows off its NECA Camp Competition winnings. Photo Credit: Victoria Raucci.
The North Branford High School T-Birds' cheerleading squad shows off its NECA Camp Competition winnings. Photo Credit: Victoria Raucci.

Despite it being the "off-season," the North Branford High School cheerleading squad has been as busy as ever. The T-Birds most recently volunteered at the Potato & Corn Festival and are getting ready for a Youth Cheer Clinic on Saturday, Aug. 10 and a car wash fundraiser at NBFD Co. 4 on Saturday, Aug. 17. 

In addition to the community service projects, the T-Birds have been working on their skills and their efforts were greatly rewarded as they came home from New England Cheerleaders Association camp with a number of team and individual awards.

The T-Birds traveled to Mitchell College for four days to work under the instruction of the NECA, training from morning to night. They learned a routine that was performed for the parents and judged on at the last day of camp.

"One of the main aspects that separates NECA from other cheerleading associations is that they focus on the whole cheerleader, not just the athletic aspect of the sport," said T-Birds' Coach Marisa Laudano. "School and community spirit along with friendly and helpful attitudes are things that they hold as high up as being a five-star gymnast or having hyper-extended jumps."

As a team, the North Branford squad earned seven awards, along with the Top Team Bid to participate in All-Americans at the ProBowl in Hawaii. North Branford was named the Best All-Around Team and took second place in the competition. The T-Birds also won the Spirit Stick, took honors for Personality Projection and won Best Crowd Appeal, Best Arm Motions and Best Dance.

A number of T-Birds also received individual accolades, shining in several categories. Kathleen Yotsavath, Cheyanna DeRosa and Carly Mastriano were named Best Jumpers; Maddy Giardina, Chelsea DellaRocca, Mastriano and Meagan Harratty earned Best Gymnasts; Jessica McKosky was Most Improved and Olivia Gleason won Best Captain. Best Cheerleader honors went to Mastriano (3rd place) and Giardina (5th place).

"Overall I couldn't have been happier with the results," said Laudano. "Not only did the team bond during this time, but we also came home with many individual and team awards." 

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