Despite changes in the Central Islip lineup throughout the season, the Musketeers were able to win the Co-Ed Division of Saturday’s Suffolk County Cheerleading Championship at Smithtown East High School.
“We are so beyond excited and proud," Central Islip coach Rebecca Gallagher said. “They have overcome so many obstacles throughout the season.”
While many of the teams in Saturday’s competition had to overcome injuries or illness, the Musketeers dealt with adversity that affected their routines a bit differently.
“Throughout the season, we had to change our positions because we had people leave the team,” Gallagher said. “We had to rebuild certain stunt groups. It was about being able to get some of the things that we had choreographed for the newer members organized but also learning to work with new people, which brought out nerves.”
Once the Musketeers hit the mat in their bright purple lipstick, the nerves vanished.
Central Islip’s victory earned a spot into the New York State Cheerleading Competition in Rochester on March 7. Going forward, Central Islip has a plan it wants to execute before heading to the state competition.
“We want to focus on cleaning up our transitions and organize some timing issues,” Gallagher said. “Above all, we are going to put forth our best routine possible.”
In Large Division II, Mount Sinai was the lone team, giving them a spot in the state competition.
In Small Division II, Babylon placed first, followed by Sayville and Hampton Bays. Babylon's win also gives the team a spot in the state competition.
“Our team is unique," Babylon coach Kara Bocchiccio said. "Many of my girls compete in volleyball or gymnastics so it sometimes feels like we have to play catch up but the girls did great today and I’m very proud. Our girls got second place last year so it was awesome to come out on top this year. It was about the girls gelling together and perfecting their routines by working hard."
Due to multiple illnesses, Northport had to learn a new routine in just 48 hours. Northport finished second in the Co-Ed Division.
“Every single person on the team is used to working with certain people,” Northport coach Danielle Milazzo said. “You don’t have a lot of time to adjust if someone isn’t there so everyone had to step up and do what they needed to do in order for the routine to come together.”