It would take a lot more than a sore back or a sprained ankle for Rocky Point cheerleading captains Brittany Reh and Kristin Flatley to sit out a competition.
The two seniors know how important they are to their team, and despite some bumps and bruises, they continue to perform through the pain.
“It is hard to compete with an injury, but I know I have to push through it for our team and our coaches,” Reh said. “They work so hard for me, so I need to work hard for them.”
Said Flatley: “Although my ankle is in pain, I have to push it out because at the end of the day, when we win, there is no more pain. As a captain, everyone looks up to me, so I can’t leave my team hanging, even though I might be hurt.”
With the help of Reh and Flatley, Rocky Point placed first in the small varsity division at the Mount Sinai Cheerleading Invitational on Sunday. Wantagh took second, Sachem East finished third, Kings Park came in fourth and Longwood finished fifth.
“It is an amazing feeling winning with this team, especially in my senior year,” Reh said. “It is the greatest feeling ever going out there, hitting a perfect routine and then winning.”
“I am very proud of my team,” Flatley said. “We had our ups and downs, but we came out and accomplished what we wanted to do.”
With only three competitions remaining before the national championships in February, Rocky Point coach Anna Spallina recognized how important Sunday’s competition was for her team.
“Putting them on a competition mat in front of an audience is a big key,” Spallina said. “We know they are good, we know they are awesome, but they have to be able to perform.”
Second-year assistant coach Arianna Scanlon added, “The girls deal with a lot because we expect a lot from them, but they always come out and rise to the occasion.”
Flatley has dealt with many injuries in the past but has never let it bother her. Her strength and perseverance have led her head coach to call her “my hero.”
“She was out for a couple of days with a [ankle] sprain, but she couldn’t stand to sit there and watch somebody in her spot,” Spallina said. “That kid works hard, and just when you think there is no more to get out of her, she gives you a little more . . . She is definitely my hero.”