Friday, February 24, 2023

Windham High varsity cheerleading team showcases skills

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham cheerleading squad competed in the Cheers from the Heart competition at Oxford Hills High School on Saturday, Feb. 18, coming in fourth place overall and rising 10 points from the state competition earlier this year.

Windham High varsity cheerleaders Monica Lewis, Vanessa 
Berry, Gabi Wright, Natalie Adams and Ellie Archibald
perform a routine during the Cheers from the Heart
competition on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Oxford Hills High
School in South Paris. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA  
The charity competition featured schools and teams from a variety of skill levels from all over the state and this has been a challenging cheerleading year, from cancellations due to weather, sickness or ineligibility, Windham has continued to persevere with dedication and determination as they ended their season with an impressive routine.

“We’ve worked really hard,” said Windham senior Natalie Adams. “We’ve done several other competitions leading up to this just getting used to performing in front of people and just really connecting as a team, so we can go out there and look good as a team.”

Beginning in 1999, Cheers from the Heart was started by Wells High School cheerleaders as a way to give back to their local town communities.

The competition has donated over $300,000 to local charities and families in need. A large portion of the money raised during this competition went to Good Shepard Food Bank.

“Our goal for the competition was just to put on the best performance we could and know that we left it all out on mat and that we didn’t have any regrets,” said Windham junior Monica Lewis. “It was one of the best performances of the season. Our stunts hit like we had been doing them for years together. All jumps and tumbling looked amazing. And our dance showed all our hard work.”

Windham sophomore Talia Campobasso said the season has had its ups and downs. They pulled together, and she thought they did really well.

They had to retool their routine’s formations the night before attending Cheers from the Heart. Windham adapted quickly and effectively to the new changes, and that carried through during their routine.

Adams said it’s taken a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this point. They really came together and trusted each other more as a team to be able to come out and perform. She thought their pyramid hit really well. That’s something they’ve struggled a little bit with their beginning and stunts also went well.

“Today is more of a fun one. Our goal was to make sure everything hit, and they did just that,” said Windham varsity cheerleading coach Bari Campobasso. We still want to show that we are improving each time and that’s what we did. They performed great; I’m very proud of them.”

Coach Campobasso said even with another bump in the road, the night before Cheers from the Heart, the team’s spirits were up at practice and seemed totally unphased by this new obstacle. Windham wanted to show how far they’ve come and during Cheers from the Heart, they did.

Lewis said every time they changed the routine, Windham came back stronger than before. Windham put their minds to it and made it happen. Lewis couldn’t have asked for a better team and performance. <

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