Varsity cheerleaders excel at first competition


Gabby Velotta

The varsity cheerleaders perform one of their complex cheers at the Massillon Jackson competition. Junior Grace Sherlock was glad the team competed in the tournament. She said, “It helped us to bond more as a team and increase confidence in ourselves.”

Hannah Birnbaum, Staff Writer

This past Sunday, the varsity cheerleading squad traveled to Massillon Jackson to compete in their first-ever cheerleading competition.

Gabby Velotta, the varsity coach, was excited to try something new and different that past Mayfield squads had never done before. “It’s my first year as varsity coach so I figured why not try something new, plus this year’s varsity squad has a lot of talent so I really wanted to showcase that,” she said.

Senior Vivian Rayborn liked the challenge that preparing for the competition brought to the table. She said, “I think it was a good experience for our squad because we all had to push ourselves. The dance was not easy, and everyone really had to give 110% to pull it off.”

Although Junior Grace Sherlock found the practices demanding, she admitted that they paid off in the end. “Due to the difficulty, we had to practice on our own time to make sure we knew everything. We prepared by practicing, talking to each other, and relying on our coach to make sure we knew everything we needed to know,” she said.

Velotta was pleased with the cheerleaders’ performance, as they scored 41.35 out of a possible 45. She said, “We won Champion for our division as well as the Sportsmanship award. I think Mayfield varsity really put their best foot forward and truly did amazing, and I am so proud of them!”

Rayborn appreciated that the judges evaluated the cheerleaders based on their routine instead of comparing how they did against other teams. “It was like we competed against ourselves, and I never experienced something like that (we always competed against different schools when we performed at camp) and it was kind of cool how much of a different mindset that gave me. I wasn’t trying to be better than someone else, but just trying to be the best me,” she said.

Even though Sherlock enjoyed the competition overall, she wished that the squad got to compete against more people her age. She said, “The competition wasn’t what I expected it to be. I didn’t expect to be one of the only high school teams and also the huge age difference.”

As Velotta’s first cheerleading competition as a coach, she appreciated the overall setup. “From the beginning they were very organized, which was great. I think they did the best they could to follow Covid regulations by splitting the competition up into groups. I do wish we were able to watch the other squads in our division but it was still a fun experience,” she said.

Sherlock loved that the competition brought the team even closer together. She said, “I do think this was a great experience for our squad! We were the first squad at Mayfield to compete in a cheer competition, so it was a very fun experience.”

In the end and after all the hard work, Velotta was extremely proud of her varsity squad. She said, “For our first competition we did amazing! I know we did our absolute best, and I am so proud of my girls’ hard work and dedication.”