Cheer and Song to merge as one team next year

April 23, 2008 — by Shannon Nguyen

Saratoga High has traditionally had both a Song team and a cheer team, but this fall the teams will merge into a single Spirit Squad. This change will result in more unity, but the team will still divide into Song and cheer groups for competitions.

“They’ll all cheer at basketball and football games together and they’ll perform at all the rallies together as one team,” said senior Song team captain Hayley Sullivan. “On the school level, they’re one team, but on a competition level, there will still be a dance team and a separate cheer team.”

With this drastic change, the Song leaders will now be taught how to stunt so that they can perform with the cheerleaders.

“This is good for cheer because next year they’ll have more cheerleaders on their team who can stunt well and dance well also,” said Sullivan.

Even though the two teams will be considered as one, once competition begins in September, the girls can choose to compete on whichever team they prefer—with the option of competing on both teams if desired.

“The main reason [behind the change] is because both teams do everything at games together anyways, but right now, they’re run by two different coaches,” said Song team adviser and math teacher Laressa Ridge. “Next year, they’ll work together as one team and can all have the option of stunting and dancing.”

With a new Spirit Squad coach, Tiffany Borgia, already hired, there is a promising start to this new team. Borgia will also double as the cheer competition coach, and four-year Song leader and 2004 alumnus Amanda Batanides is a prospect for the Song competition coach.

So far, all looks well for this new squad, including the attitudes of current cheer and Song leaders.

“Now, they don’t have to choose just one team. I’ve heard that a lot of the girls are excited because now they have the option of competing in both cheer and dance,” said Ridge.

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