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East Meadow cheers recovered sign bag

East Meadow flyers, from left, Emily Stea, Lexi

East Meadow flyers, from left, Emily Stea, Lexi Dolan, Hannah Cornfield and Heather Meierdierks perform during the Freeport Devil Winter Cheerleading Competition at Freeport High School on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. Credit: James Escher

Right before the East Meadow Cheerleading squad took the mat at the Freeport Devil Winter Cheerleading competition they had one mystery to solve: the case of the missing sign bag. The bag in question held the props for their team chant.

One person came to the rescue and that was coach Tara Shannon.

“The sign bag was of course on the bus. I’m outside on Sunrise Highway trying to find our bus to get the bag,” Shannon said with a laugh. “The girls know we grit and we bear it. We move on and make light of the situation.”

East Meadow moved on and performed a loud and semi-flawless routine, which earned them first place in Large Division I.

“We’ve been working really hard to get our skills to this level and adding more difficulty to our routines,” captain Jillian Lucito said. “I’m really proud of us.”

Nikki Pupo, also a captain, added, “It’s great that we are hitting our routines this early in the season. We are really prepared and really confident.”

Losing their sign bag wasn’t the only hurdle the Jets had to fly through. During the routine their music wouldn’t start. The silence, at first was deafening, but the East Meadow crowd shouted almost as loud as the team.

The music started and the Jets performed an almost perfect routine. There were a few minor shakes but no major falls.

“We’re constantly counting in our heads so when that happens we laugh and move on,” captain Sam Reyes said.

The Jets are currently the Nassau Large Division I champions and are looking to retain that title. Starting the season 1-0 is a great way to make that goal a reality.

“We want to continue to improve with every competition,” Shannon said.

Pupo added, “Our ultimate goal is to secure the win in counties, keep the title and make it to the state championship.”

Other winners included Syosset in Small Division I, Seaford in Large Division II and Wantagh in Small Division II.

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