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Freeport’s February to remember continues with Small Division I crown at Nassau championships

Freeport performs during the Nassau cheerleading championships at

Freeport performs during the Nassau cheerleading championships at Wantagh High School on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. Credit: James Escher

It’s too bad February is the shortest month of the year. The way things have been going for Freeport cheerleading, the squad doesn’t want it to end.

After finishing the regular season with their highest score, the Devils advanced to the semifinals of the National High School Cheerleading championship for the first time in program history. On Sunday, they continued their month to remember at the Nassau championships by winning the Small Division I crown at Wantagh High School.

“The sense of pride that I have for my team is unbelievable,” Emily Peralta said.

Said Erin Dean, “We came into this on top and we knew we wanted to leave on top and we did just that.”

Freeport did it with style. After a shaky start, the girls recovered and stuck their hardest stunt, the final pyramid.

“By that point, we’re exhausted but the pyramid is the highlight of the entire routine,” Katherine Leon said. “Once that hits, the crowd goes crazy.”

Added Lauryn Edionwe, “I was recently added to that stunt as a base and in the beginning I was so unsure of myself. Now that we hit it I know I can do it.”

Freeport earned its first ticket to the NYSPHSAA Cheerleading Championship on Saturday in Syracuse.

“I can’t wait for states so we can continue showing everyone that we are Freeport,” Peralta said.

“We’re going to continue making history,” Leon said.

East Meadow, Seaford win ‘large’ events. The East Meadow and Seaford teams had similar cases of the injury/illness blues but it didn’t stop them from winning their county crowns for the second year in a row in Large Division I and II, respectively.

“We had two people missing this week and we had to change our whole routine yesterday,” East Meadow’s Jillian Lucito said.

The Jets added a few freshmen to their pyramid and still stuck it with ease.

“We had a lot of struggles throughout the week but I’m really proud of us for overcoming them,” Ashley Luna said.

The Seaford crew had only two practices this week and they didn’t go well. It didn’t show Sunday, though, as the Vikings had an excellent routine.

“Last night we had such a bad practice but we had to overcome all of our struggles, which were really all in our heads,” Kelly Gagliano said.

Added Emily Koenig, “We didn’t have a good practice until our run through today. It shows once we’re on the mat, our team gets serious.”

East Meadow and Seaford advanced to the state championship event and both are ready to place higher in the competition.

“We try to prove to everyone and ourselves what we can accomplish and we’re really doing it,” Anna Gagliano said.

Wantagh still perfect. The Wantagh cheerleaders capped off their undefeated season by earning their highest score ever (96.7) and winning their third county title, this time in Small Division II.

The Warriors are no strangers to the state championship, placing second last year. They’ll be looking for gold again Saturday.

“Our main goal is always to beat ourselves and be better than we were last time,” Brenda Martin said. “I couldn’t be more proud of everything this team has done not only today but all season.

Calhoun won the co-ed division for the second year in a row.

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