DEHS Cheer Team Earns Bid to Disney for Third Time


Ashley Davison, Staff Writer

The Downingtown East cheerleading team, led by Coach Jennifer Catrambone, recently earned a bid to the National Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida. On November 11, the cheerleading team travelled to Toms River, New Jersey to compete for a bid to Nationals. The lady Cougars put up a fight as they competed from teams all over the region for a spot in the cheerleading championship. Luckily, the team did not only win one, but two bids for the two cheerleading routines they performed.

The cheerleading competition gathers the top high school cheer teams into one arena at the ESPN center to compete for the gold. The East Cougars will compete for first in the all girl, extra large varsity division for both routines. One routine is the so called “average”  cheerleading routine that is two minutes- thirty seconds which includes a cheer, and the other is the newly added “game day” routine where the cheerleaders perform as if they were at a game. Some teams go for only one routine, however East took on the challenge of going for both.

Earning a bid to this specific cheer competition is no easy task. The cheer team practices three times a week for two or more hours, dedicating time to the two routines. “We add in competitions throughout the season, but our main goal is always Nationals. First we work for our bid, then we work to beat the teams were against,” Rachel Johnston(11) said. This year was especially hard for the cheer team to earn their bid due to multiple people quitting, the injuries that arose, and having to work in the new girls brought up from junior varsity. Fortunately, the team earned their bids and will be traveling to Orlando in February.

A few lucky seniors have experienced the cheerleading competition in Florida since sophomore year. “The memories we make going to Disney last forever. We work so hard at the competition and then get to relax and bond as a team as we travel around the Disney parks,” said Paige Greenleaf (12). “One of my favorite memories is when all twenty-two cheerleaders gathered into coach’s room at night, nervous to compete the next day, and sat and talked, laughed, and calmed each other’s nerves. We truly bonded as a team which made our performance the next day, one of the best!” Devon Catrambone(12) said. Coach Catrambone said, “My favorite part is watching the girls grow as a team through this whole experience. The team truly bonds here and makes memories that last a lifetime.”  

The competition takes place February 11-13at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Center. There are many new cheerleaders on the team, so it will be their first experience at this whole adventure. “I am most excited to be able to spend quality time with my teammates, not stressing about practice or school, just being able to have fun,” Delaney Ditillo(10) said. “I am most excited to eat the Mickey Mouse waffles in the morning at the hotel, I can’t believe it’s my last year eating them.” Kirsten Kendig(12) said. Cara Russell exclaimed, “I can’t bear to think of not going to Disney with all twenty-one of my best friends next year, but good luck to all future cheerleaders on their journey to the National cheerleading Championship in Orlando!”