For some, a trip to Disney is a dream vacation.
For the Bambies, it’s all business.
The St. Hubert High School cheerleading team sent three squads to the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championships, held Feb. 7-9 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. And just like every other year, the Bambies brought home some souvenirs, and we’re not talking Goofy hats or Mickey Mouse autographs.
The Bambies varsity team took fifth place in the national competition, while the JV Gold brought home third and the JV Brown brought home second place.
St. Hubert wasn’t the only team that brought home hardware. For the third straight year, the Crispin Cougars took home first place in their group while St. Anselm’s cheer team brought home eighth.
This year, Hubert had a good reason for wanting to do well. It brought 29 seniors to the competition, and all of them left Florida with a medal. They also have a lifetime of memories from all of the fun they had during their time cheering for the Bambies.
“I’ve been cheering for 14 years and it’s so much fun, I love cheering for St. Hubert’s,” said Mayfair resident Hailey Lemly, a flyer on the varsity team. “Most of this trip is about competing, but we had some fun, like the senior dinner, and we got to go to the park.
“It was a great trip. We didn’t finish where we wanted to, but it was still a great trip. We all had fun and we all cheered for everyone. We all love seeing each other do well.”
Alyssa Baisch, a flyer on the JV Brown team, had a different reaction about her team’s finish.
Sure, they wanted to bring home another first-place finish, but after the competition was over, they were happy with second.
“We were the happiest runners-up you’d ever see,” said Baisch, a Bensalem resident. “We didn’t have the performance we wanted, so when they announced the third-place finisher, we were so happy.
“This was great for me because for the past seven years, I had the same coaches, Erin and Kelly McShea. They have been great coaches, we’ve gotten close and it’s fun to cheer for the same coaches for so long. This was a business trip, but it was our last one, so we made sure to have fun.
“It was really nice. We get so much support, not just from our team, but from the teachers, the staff, everyone. Everyone helped us celebrate. It was great for the school. We’ve bonded with everyone since cheerleading camp in the summer, and it’s special to be part of it.”
The trip was a great one all the way around for the Bambies, who watched each of their teams advance to the championship round.
It meant a lot because everyone came home a winner.
“We love watching the other teams do well, we’re always supporting each other,” said Mayfair native Maddie Gibson, a senior back spotter on the JV Gold team. “I’m definitely going to miss it. We are so close, we love cheering together. It’s been great.”
The three seniors are proud of all the things they’ve accomplished through the years. Each year, the Bambies are among the most successful cheerleading programs in the country and this year was no exception. But the three girls have hopes as they leave the school in June.
All three girls have hopes of going to college and getting degrees that will not only be good jobs, but jobs that will be very rewarding and help other people.
“I’m going to Holy Family and I’m going to major in nursing,” said Lemly, who is also a Bambie ambassador and a member of Athletes Helping Athletes. “I like helping people and it’s a good way to do that.”
Baisch is joining her teammate in the medical field. She’s unsure of where she’s going, and also if she’ll continue to cheer, but she has her career figured out.
“I’m going to major in biology and then go to school to become a physician’s assistant,” Baisch said. “I’ve always liked science since I was a little kid. And I know you can help people in that career.”
Gibson will also be helping people, but not through medicine. She plans on becoming a teacher.
“I’ve always wanted to teach and work with kids,” said Gibson, who is bound for West Chester. “I enjoy being around kids and helping them. I think it would be perfect for me.”
Now that cheerleading is over, the girls can prepare for their final few months at the school. They are sad it’s over, but happy they took part.
“It was great to cheer for St. Hubert’s,” Gibson said. “We all have great memories of Disney, but all of the other competitions, too. It’s been great. Everything about it has been a positive experience. We’ll all be friends forever.”
The varsity team consists of Jane Hoger, Erin Fitzpatrick, Sofia Magat, Taylor Blazejewski, Hailey Lemly, Gabrielle Bermes, Claudia McCabe, Olivia Ovington, Jayla Robinson, Isabella Carpino, Nicole Lemerise, Jordan Mullen, Amber Dalton, Ava Springfield, Kayla Cono, Hailey Guinter, Alyssa Cooper, Kate Tomes, Jessica Burgher, Marissa Kramer, Sophia Bowen, Alyssa Heron, Gabrielle Marzullo, Kaitlyn Wilson, Emily Livewell and Kyleigh Taylor.
The JV Brown team consists of Alyssa Baisch, Frankie D’Andrea, Gianna DeNofa, Jade Gambino, Victoria Gerstle, Taylor Handley, Cameron Heron, Caitlyn Hofner, Nicole Huff, Maddie Lemly, Makayle Lutey, Nancy Magee, Irelynn McClernand, Ailish McDermott, Bryn McKenna, Shannon Metzger, Maggie Mota, Mairead Murphy, Shea Quinn, Erin Schmidt, Brooke Smith, Paige Smith, Mary Kate Stine, Taylor Wilson, Kellilyn Wissman and Jaime Yaworsk.
The JV Gold team consists of Madison McNamee, Ava Grimaldi, Breanna Hoey, Maddie Gibson, Jeilynn Velez, Chelsey Criollo, Kaelyn Sweeney, Gianna Postowski, Kelly Seklecki, Brenna Gispert, Adriana Maldonado, Katelyn Allen, Ava McHugh, Kayla Mitchell, Madelynn Fahey, Macayla Canning, Amanda Dean, Madi Donsky, Hanna Custren and Carla-Michele Paul.