Bringing the Competition: DCC Style

Get an inside look on the 2020-2021 DCC winter competition team

Michelle Staebell

Get an inside look on the 2020-2021 DCC winter competition team

Ava Kannady, Staff Writer

With winter sports being some of the most exciting events that occur this time of year, our St. Dominic competition cheer team has entered this season looking nothing but unstoppable. The jaw-dropping performances, stunts, and dances this squad prepares and performs at each game always leave fans intrigued; however, there are loads of practices, hard work, and COVID-19 precautions that make this team into what they are today. Let’s take an inside look at some of the cheerleaders who are part of this incredible program.

Each performance this squad provides for our Crusader family is full of high-flying stunts and dances, but there is a lot more behind the scenes and prep work when it comes to these show-stopping routines.  

“When it comes to challenging stunts, it takes a lot of patience. It can get really frustrating when a stunt won’t hit, but sometimes the best thing to do is break it down, find what’s going wrong and then fight through any uncertainty during the routine to make things hit,” senior Elizabeth Petruso said.

Petruso was no surprise in being titled “Head Captain” of the 2020-2021 squad. While cheering with the varsity squad for an entirety of four years, Petruso has shown dedication, astonishing talent, and an outlet for the entire squad to look up to, completely earning her spot as head captain.

“After four years, I’ve become really invested in the team and the program…but the best part is probably just getting the chance to work with the amazing athletes on the team and encourage everyone to be the best cheerleader they can be,” Petruso said.

Graduating from the tight knit DCC family can be extremely disheartening, especially after the complete four years Petruso spent pouring her heart out to the Dominic Crusader Cheerleaders.

“Four years on varsity cheer has taught me how to be a leader, how to persevere in the midst of struggles, and how to work with others to reach a larger goal. I have also gained a new appreciation for the sport of cheerleading…I hope to become an advocate for treating cheerleaders equally and spread awareness to the difficult work we do on the mat, especially within the competition team,” Petruso said.

Another one of our star senior cheerleaders Abbie Smith gave us her emotions on what it is like to be on the squad as a senior.

“It is sad that this is my last year on this squad, but it is exciting because I have a leadership role on this team that the others can look up to,” Smith said.

On top of the underlying sadness during the senior cheerleaders’s final season,  COVID-19 has transported many alterior challenges, which this team has been strong enough to face.

“COVID has made our cheer competition so much scarier. If one person gets it or is exposed just weeks before our competition, we’d have to change up our routine, and in the worse case scenario, cancel the competition. So we have to be extremely safe in the crucial time of preparing for it and hope for the best,” sophomore and varsity cheerleader Mary Naumann said.

With the DCC winter competition squad urging to be the best of the best despite any obstacles in their way, it is important to have a healthy mindset and goals to accomplish.

“Our goals this season have been to push ourselves further than ever before. We are doing stunts and skills that no St. Dominic cheer team has ever done, and it’s so cool being a part of the team that’s the first to do it. When working together, it’s super important to be patient. Sometimes we won’t get the skill on our first try, and it can be frustrating. Being patient with ourselves and others is a really important reminder,” Naumann said.

Sophomore Julia Bauche was a show-stopper to Coach Staebell and Coach Kat’s competition team after her tryout and delivery during her freshman year, but she has quickly realized that each season and each team brings its own skills and environment.  

“The difference between the regular fall season and winter season is that there is a ton of more work and effort that goes into practices to prepare for competitions. It is also a lot more painful and tough with the longer practices, but our coaches are more than dedicated to this team and want the best for us” Bauche said.

With the blood, sweat, and tears shown through the effort and performance of this squad, the DCC winter competition team is on another level than anything St. Dominic has seen before. While our girls have only been able to show us their talent on the basketball court this season, the St. Dominic community has no idea what is in store. Tune in to DCC’s first competition on February 13th at the AAA Conference, which will be live-streamed straight from St. Dominic, and see what they have been working non-stop for all season.