Ida Baker cheerleaders take first in state competition
For the second year in a row, the Ida S. Baker High School Varsity Squad earned first place at the State Cheer and Dance Championship.
The team of 24 cheerleaders traveled to Daytona Beach laszt month to compete in the state championship and came in first place for their division, with divisions based on the size of the squad. The team was also named grand champion of the entire event.
Head Coach Crystal Marrone said the team’s routines at the Jan. 15 event included cheering, jumping, tumbling and stunts.
“It’s a combination of everything,” said Marrone. “The judges want to see a wide range of every skill a cheerleader can do.”
The varsity squad at Ida S. Baker perfected a two-and-one-half minute routine that they performed in Daytona Beach. Throughout the rest of the school year they cheer at football and basketball games.
Marrone said that no other Cape Coral squads were at the state competition. Riverdale High in Fort Myers sent a squad but they competed in a different division. As winners, the squad received two plaques and a large banner proclaiming they are state champions. Marrone said the banner will hang in the gym.
On Feb. 13 the squad also competed at the Official Florida Championships at the State Fair in Tampa Bay where they also came in first place. Even though the team has come in first place in different statewide events, they won’t be moving on to any national competition.
“We don’t have the funds for that this year,” said Marrone.
The program is relatively small, she said, and each cheerleader individually raises her own money to cover the entry and transportation fees to any state event.
Members of the squad include Vanessa Gerlich (captain), Laura Raiola (captain), Andrea Ferro, Alex Gonzalez, Daisy De Castris, Lindsay Boye, Dominique Santangelo, Shelbi Muske, Kylie Zawisza, Gianna Libretti, Ashlee Hoagland, Samantha Cowling, Briana Christiano, Shannon Wilson, Michaela Holliman, Christina Douglas, Rebecca Baldasarre, Ximena Caballeros, Zoe Cooper, Cassie Newell, Erin Pollard and Jessica Coniglio.