Competitive cheer team puts in strong showing at nationals


Image via Purbalite

Baldwin cheerleaders perform at a pep rally. The competitive cheer team placed eighth in the nation at Disney.

Grace Esposito and Cassie Snyder

Baldwin’s competitive cheer team placed at nationals over the weekend at Disney in both the game day and mat competitions, a feat no Baldwin team had ever accomplished.

The game day competition involves more of the cheering that is seen on the sidelines of sporting events, while the mat competition involves more tumbling and stunts.

Baldwin competed a total of five times at nationals without a single fall. 

“When it comes to placements, you don’t know how the other teams will score and what they will perform, so all we had to do was focus on was being better than the last performance we did each time and leave it to the judges,” senior Alaina Wodarek said. 

The team went straight to finals for game day and then placed seventh out of 29 teams. Baldwin then made finals for mat and placed eighth out of 35 teams, making it the first time that both routines made it to finals in the same year. 

“I could not be more proud of this team and the performances we put out,” senior Abby Zuder said. “We definitely had some rough patches throughout the year and had to build our confidence up, but whenever everything started to click we became unstoppable.” 

Senior Kathy Nguyen agreed.

“Our accomplishments mean so much to us because we worked so hard as a team to accomplish something that Baldwin cheer has never done before,” Nguyen said. 

The team had to work all season long, sophomore Ryan Bigley said.

“This year we had a few bumps in the road throughout the season that we had to work really hard to overcome as a team. It felt very rewarding to know our hard work paid off and we did our best at nationals with a difficult routine,” Bigley said. 

Senior Paige Young said the team should continue to do well in the future.

“I am so blessed and proud to be on this team and to continue watching Baldwin cheerleading exceed everyone’s expectations because I know this program will go so far,” Young said.