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Youth Cheerleaders Get Pointers From High School Athletes And Coaches



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Future Newtown High School cheerleaders came together with the Nighthawk cheer squad representatives and coaches for the Newtown High School Summer Fun Cheer Camp, at NHS, this summer.

The up-and-coming cheer squad members practiced much of what the high school athletes — the Team of the Year state champions — do on the mats and sidelines. From tumbling to tossing, and cheers to pyramids, girls in grades K to 8 got to test and hone their skills on the ground and in the air — under the direction of NHS Head Coach Susan Bridges and her camp staff.

Ellie Mouchantat is an assistant coach with the high school team and helped teach technique, form, and a variety of stunts during the week-long camp.

“It’s fun. They get really excited — they’re so adorable,” Mouchantat said of the campers. “And it’s great seeing our high school kids work with the little ones. I think they get a lot out of it.”

For Rachael Szor, who will be a senior at NHS this fall, working with the future Hawks is a great opportunity since the camp brings together two of her passions. “I just love kids,” she said.

And being a competitive cheerleader requires a high level of dedication and commitment. The high school girls practice almost year-round as they sharpen routines, nail down moves and gear up for the winter competition season.

This camp provides a glimpse of what is ahead for the younger cheerleaders while giving the high schoolers a chance to have a little fun with their sport.

“It’s a lot of fun. It brings back memories when I was a little kid,” Szor said. “I did this camp when I was younger.”

The cheer campers love being around the high school girls, Bridges said. “We just want them to have a good time and continue their love for cheerleading,” she added.

Many of the young cheerleaders will put their abilities on display during the Newtown Youth Football and Cheerleading season. And some day down the road it stands to reason they will be on the sidelines at high school games and, eventually, back at the camp helping another new wave of cheerleaders rise through the ranks.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Sofia Scaglione gets a lift from fellow campers, including Eleanor Driscoll, far left, and Nahia Kane, right, along with Newtown High cheerleader Olivia Decatur, far right during the NHS Cheer Summer Fun Camp this summer. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
RileyAnne Antoinette, center, is flanked and supported by Margot Eide, left, and Marilena Vaccaro.
Flyer Brynn Clark is held by a group of fellow campers and NHS cheerleader Isabella Walder.
Flyer Lillian Dougherty works with NHS cheerleader Chase Sferruzzo, left, camper/spotter Emmy Bell, and NHS cheerleader Ella Macey, right.
Young cheerleaders had a blast learning skills under the direction of Newtown High cheer squad members and coaches during camp this summer. —photo courtesy Susan Bridges
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