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Hart Cheerleaders Take First

Victory marks third straight at annual tourney.

Posted: March 5, 2008 4:08 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2008 5:02 a.m.

The Hart High School varsity cheerleading squad took first place in the California Cheerleading Championship held at Six Flags Magic Mountain Feb. 23. The victory marked the third straight year the squad has won the tournament.

 
Noelle Chadbourne is a junior at Hart High School. She is a member of the varsity cheerleading squad and Hart's journalism staff.

The Hart High School varsity competition cheerleading squad won first place at the California Cheerleading Championship held Feb. 23 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, competing against eight other teams in the large varsity division.

The victorious cheerleaders were awarded a trophy, $1,000, and individual season passes to Magic Mountain.

This is the fifth consecutive competition win for the varsity squad and the third annual win at the Magic Mountain competition. They have competed in the advanced division at local, regional and state levels and are currently undefeated.

"I'm proud and happy for our undefeated title this year. It boosts up my confidence and makes me proud to be a part of such a great team," junior Christine Padilla said.

The Indian Cheer's successful season is due to the combination of the team's determination and the well-qualified abilities of head coach Amanda Sabo and assistant coach Samantha Maggio. Sabo is a Hart alumnus, and former Hart cheerleader and she has received extensive awards including the Universal Cheerleaders Association's Top All-Star Individual and the U.S. Spiritleaders' All Star Top Honor.

Maggio also has roots in the Santa Clarita Valley. She is a Saugus High School alumnus and former Saugus cheerleader. Maggio has been a U.S. Spiritleaders staff member for three years and has coached at Kidnastics and Titan Elite studios.

"I think having really good coaches brought the team together, and that they are what made us so successful," junior Alexandra Crowder said.

The team usually practices four days a week and occasionally on the weekends. In addition to their competitions, the team also cheers at football games and both boys and girls basketball games. Since both seasons continued into play-offs, a large amount of time was devoted to cheering at the games.
"You really learn how to manage your time. With me, I balance church class every morning, school, yearbook, cheer and homework," junior Kim Petot said.

This year the team also took time to help others and was involved in the community, volunteering for many different local organizations including Special Olympics, Cell Phones for Soldiers, and Blue Star Mothers. Hart Cheer parent Emily Chiominto is responsible for coordinating many of the volunteer projects.

"I think it is good to do something not for yourself, but for someone else," Chiominto said.

In September 2007, the cheerleaders volunteered for four hours at a Special Olympics event held at the Saugus Speedway. The team cheered the contestants on as they competed in their sporting events.

Another of team's projects was to collect old cell phones to turn in to the Cell Phones for Soldiers organization. Cell Phones for Soldiers is a non-profit organization that collects old cell phones and resells them to a company that recycles them. The money received from recycling the phones is used to buy one-hour telephone cards that are sent to the U. S. troops overseas. Overall, the team managed to collect 119 phones.

The Hart cheerleaders also created Valentine's Day cards in January for the armed forces. The cards were given to an organization called the Blue Star Mothers, a support group in Santa Clarita that creates care packages for the troops stationed around the globe. The cards went to troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In total, the cheerleaders made about 160 valentines for the troops.

"I think it is good to support the troops because my brother is in the Army and I think it is an important cause," junior Ali Lawrence said.

Although the team has a very busy season, participating in competitions, games and volunteer work, they still manage to keep the Hart spirit up and are ready to dominate at nationals. Their final competition is the United Spirit Association's Nationals at the Anaheim Convention Center March 8-9.

The girls will have to be focused and ready to work during practice in order to be successful. The team remains hopeful and positive for nationals and looks forward to performing.

"I'm pretty excited to attend nationals again and show off all the hard work we went through," Padilla said.


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