Cheerleading has triumphant season

Named CT Team of the Year

Katie Walsh , Staff Writer

These past 11 months have been filled with hard work, setbacks and ultimately success for the DHS Varsity Cheerleading team.
The hard work and dedication paid off as the team was crowned FCIAC and state champs and named Connecticut Team of the Year.
The count in, 5,6,7,8; proceeds the girls to their standing tuck and cheer sequence where they hope to capture the audience. Once the music starts their focus becomes on facial expression and taking it one step at a time. This leads to individual running tumbling passes. The stunt sequence follows which is arguably seen as the hardest part. To end the routine they make a pyramid, execute jumps and finish with the dance.
This routine has been in the works since May 2016. The varsity cheer team has the longest season of any DHS sport.  For the 9 seniors on this team it has been 4 years of hard work and dedication.  Their goal was to end their DHS cheer career with a state title, which they accomplished.
Their winning moments were filled with plenty of tears and stunned reactions, specifically at FCIACs when they fell out of two stunts. For senior Lexi Lucas, who was the FCIAC individual champion, “It didn’t hit until days to follow, all the hard work paid off.”  In addition to their FCIAC and state championships, the team landed in the top five at New England Regional Championships.
However, it hasn’t been all glory for this team.  The team originally had 18 girls but three quit and one moved. Lucas recalls this making the team “really nervous.” However, it “pushed [them] to work harder [to avoid it from being] a setback” to the team.
The team was also motivated by their loss of a margin of .2 at states last year. Senior Captain Brittany Falkowski remembers them all being “so upset, so..[they] worked super hard to make sure that would never happen again.”
Falkowski credits the coaches for providing a “very fun/happy atmosphere during practice” adding that “it would not be possible without them.”
Lucas reveals that it’s “not only the coaches pushing [them], but having the want and putting in the effort to be the best.”
A major aspect of becoming a champion in Cheer is the team chemistry. Coach Joann Tatarzycki recognizes the team’s ability to “work together as a family”, along with their “goal to win championships.”  They also spend a lot of time outside of the cheerleading world together.
Prior to every competition the team “always wears their team shirts and listens to “Live Your Life” by Rihanna for relaxation.”
They also have a team talk prior to their performance where Tatarzycki gives them wise words, such as,“have fun, be yourselves, be better than last time, give 110%,” and also mentions that “if each one does their job it will all come together.”

With nine seniors leaving, who all plan on cheering in college, it’ll be hard for this team to replace those seniors and adjust to such a big change.  In general, Tatarzycki sees it being a much “younger team [next year, with] more freshman who will have to work hard to equal that success.”
For Tatarzycki, it’s all worth it when she sees “it all come together on the mat [and sees her team] happy that all their months and months of hard work have paid off.”