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NHS Cheer Squad Wins SWC Championship



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Months and months of training came down to a two minute, 30 second routine. And the Nighthawks were spot on. Newtown High School's cheerleading team captured the South-West Conference championship with a dazzling display of athleticism, timing, synchronization, and creativity, at NHS, on February 1.

"Our goal tonight was to hit our routine, hit it hard, and have fun doing it," said Newtown Coach Susan Bridges, whose team scored 178.4 to beat out Joel Barlow of Redding (172.2) and New Fairfield (154.3) for the top spot.

The cheerleaders are capable of putting together a mistake-free routine, and do so in practices, but having it all come together with one try — the pressure of no margin for error and a packed gymnasium — is another story.

Newtown wrote its script, performing in the middle of a 12-team competition, and leaving the judges to give them the top score.

"You can't have a bad second," Bridges said.

And her team didn't, executing tumbles, flips, basket tosses, inverted stunts, and more, at a fast pace.

"We had several tries yesterday that didn't go our way," Bridges said of the final practice before showtime. "It was a really tough week with the snow and some kids being sick."

Newtown lost a day of practice because of the weather, but overcame that along with some team members being under the weather, in the days leading up to the championship.

"This is a great group of girls. They're so fun to be around," Bridges said.

Members of the team are: Seniors Julia Sullivan, Heidi Alvarez, Brianna Giglio, and Isabella Morganti; junior Nicole Shairer; sophomores Caroline Tousignant, Emi Rosenthal, Tori Duarte, Gina Lewis, Danielle Vigneau, Allie Luby, Emily Hammond, and Julia Pellicone; and freshmen Julia Calabrese, Bridget Lovely, Annie Phelps, Vicky Chop, and Lauren Milligan.

Newtown High's cheer squad performs during its first-place SWC championship effort on February 1. —Bee Photo, Hutchison

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