After months of consistent after school and early morning practices on the weekends for the anticipated regional competition in January, the cheerleaders had to face the devastation of ending their season early due to a positive case of COVID-19 on their team, just weeks before the big day. The team was told to quarantine two separate times, the first being two weeks before winter break and the second just two days after students returned to school from break. Seniors knew in hindsight that their final season on the team was finished when practices had to be cancelled to follow quarantining guidelines at the start of the new year.
Disappointed was an understatement to describe what senior captains Brianna Cook, Marcela Gaston and Jayla Troupe were feeling. After months of preparing their team to successfully perform routines and establish a special bond between every teammate, the captains received an unexpected and heartbreaking call from their coaches Morgan Zawada and Cathleen Tallent the following Tuesday after their first practice after break.
The season was over.
“We left Monday thinking we would see each other the next day. [As a senior] it hurt a lot because we didn’t even get to say goodbye to our practices or anything,” Gaston said. Since sophomore year, Gaston has been working her way up to fill the shoes of a captain and when she was finally able to reach that goal, she felt as if all of her hard work went to waste in that moment when she heard the news. “I knew years prior that I will not cheer in college and wanted to dedicate everything to make sure my last season in high school is special,” she said.
In Cook’s opinion, she considered her last season of cheer to be one of her best performances yet since she started freshman year. “We had come a long way and I was hoping to go out with a bang since we have an amazing coach that actually wanted us to see us do good,” said Cook.
Even though the senior season was tough on Troupe, she maintains a positive attitude and is looking forward to seeing her fellow teammates performance in the next season to make up for the latest season. “I think it’s always important to keep positive attitudes and in general avoid negative energies to successfully deliver as a team,” she said.