When you are trying to be the best at something, consistency is key. Just ask the Sachem North cheerleading squad.
The team's goal this season was to remain consistent, have a smooth routine, rise to the occasion each week and ultimately win.
The season ended for the Flaming Arrows when they won the state Division I Large School title March 2 in Rochester.
“We started the season off slow,” coach Danielle Gresalfi said. “We had a very talented team this year, but we just had to find consistency week to week. It took us a little bit to figure out, but the girls came together, motivated each other and made improvements along the way.”
Sachem North won three Suffolk meets, including a home meet on Jan. 26, just before the UCA National Championships. The Flaming Arrows didn’t do so well at the national level, but that only motivated the squad to finish the season strong.
After winning the Suffolk County championships, Sachem North advance to the state meet and ranked second in the preliminary round. That earned the team a ticket to the finals. And the Flaming Aarows secured their championship by sticking the hardest stunt of their routine -- a 1½ high-to-high in which the flyer spins 1½ times and lands on one foot in the highest holding position.
It's the first state title for Sachem North, but the squad will be looking for more.
“Our expectations are high,” Gresalfi said. “We’re going to have 14 seniors next year. This will be my third year coaching, so I feel like we’ve figured each other out. I’m proud that they really came together to win. It’s what we preach to them. Next year, I want to have that same energy.”