Hawks save their best for NVLs

Members of the Woodland cheerleading team run through their routine during the NVL cheerleading championships Saturday at Crosby High School in Waterbury. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Members of the Woodland cheerleading team run through their routine during the NVL cheerleading championships Feb. 20 at Crosby High School in Waterbury. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

WATERBURY — The Woodland cheerleaders posted their highest score of the season at Saturday’s NVL championship at Crosby High School.

The Hawks scored a team total of 71 points and finished eighth among the 14 teams that competed.

“I was very pleased with our effort,” said Woodland head coach Leigh Graveline, who had the Hawks ready to compete at the top of their game with help from assistant coach Tina DiRubba. “We had three competitions this season and to put up our highest score at the NVL championship competition was great to see all the hard work is paying off.”

Oxford won the title and Holy Cross took second place. Naugatuck didn’t send a squad to the competition.

Woodland sent a team of 14 girls to the championship led by senior captains Adrianna DellaValle and Ashley Frenette (All-NVL). Seniors Angela Lugo and Casey Bellavance, juniors Sabina Kica (All-NVL) and Kayla Macharelli, sophomores Lauren Burke, Morgan Burke, Salena DiRubba, Casandra Frenette, Caitlyn Martin, Morgan Stockheimer and freshmen Emily Cipriano and Ashley Macharelli rounded out the squad Saturday.

Also on the team are senior Alison Ross, junior Alexa Hassan and freshmen Adrianna Byczko, Meghan Merigold, Meliha Otajagic and Jenna Piampiano.

“This is probably one of the strongest teams we’ve had in a while with 20 girls on the roster,” Graveline said. “We did have some injuries to deal with and that made us change some routines at the last minute. But the girls were very flexible and showed their versatility with these last minute changes we had to make during the season.

“We had 14 girls compete at the NVLs and did have two girls, Ashley and Sabina, make the All-NVL squad so that was very rewarding. We still have the state competition coming up in two weeks so we will work hard to prepare for that.”