Four cheerleading teams from Brick, two each from the Mustangs and Dragons, earned the right to compete in the 2017 American Youth Cheer (AYC) National Championships in Orlando, FL this past weekend, and all four teams returned home with a trophy.
“We are super proud of all the girls representing Brick Township,” said Dave Betten, President, Brick Memorial Mustangs Football and Cheer Association. “They have been working hard since July and all of their hard work has paid off.”
Two of the teams, the Brick Mustangs Division 14 Large Red team and the Brick Dragons Division 8 Small White team, took first place and earned the title of National Champions along with this year’s much-coveted red jacket. The competition was more challenging than ever, as AYC instituted a new two-day format this year. In the past, the teams that traveled to the national competition only had to compete on one day. This year, all teams that qualified from the eight AYC regions across the U.S. competed on Saturday, December 9, but only the top five teams in each of 25 divisions moved on to compete the next day, dubbed “Super Sunday.”
The Mustangs D14 Large Red team went undefeated in their competitions this year, sweeping first place at the Jersey Shore, Big East, and both days of the National Championship events. The 25-member squad—which included two girls who usually compete for the Dragons—handily defeated teams from across the country on both the first and second days of competition, winning by a total score of more than seven points over the second-place team, the Bedford Bulldogs of New Hampshire.
“I could not be prouder of all the Brick cheerleaders,” said Mustangs D14 Coach Stacy Yurcho. “They have practiced three to four days a week for the last five months, and this weekend all of their hard work paid off. Together with their parents they have made sacrifices for this sport, and to take home four trophies for Brick is a huge accomplishment!”
In the D8 Small White competition, Dragons and Mustangs competed head to head in a tight match that reversed the results of the Jersey Shore and Big East competitions, which the Mustangs team won. At the national competition, the Dragons team of 15 girls came in first and the Mustangs team of 10 girls earned second place, with only a 0.9 difference in the final scores.
In the D12 Small White competition, the Brick Dragons 16-member squad that earlier this year were Jersey Shore and Big East champions, earned third place, behind the Texas Toros and the Fauquier Wolfpack.
“We could not have asked for a better season for all four teams from Brick,” said Holly Geronimo, Cheer Coordinator, Brick Dragons. “Coaching with the Mustangs this year while they hosted two of my older cheerleaders I know that the girls on all four teams made a lot of sacrifices to be at practices and football games all season and really earned those top spots. Both organizations are also very fortunate to have amazing volunteers for coaches and high school demonstrators who make this all possible.”
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Mary Ellen Ryder.
Brick Memorial Mustangs D8 Small White
Head Coach Lauren McKenna
Coach Lilli Giardelli
Coach Robin Weingartner
Coach Marlene Paulin
Demo Coach Kaitlyn Barrett
Demo Coach Kaylee Aderente
Brick Memorial Mustangs D14 Large Red
Head Coach Stacy Yurcho
Coach Megan Barrett
Coach Carolyn Betten
Coach Danielle Covert
Coach Holly Geronimo
Demo Coach Dominique DiGuilmi
Demo Coach Kelly Leath
Brick Dragons D8 Small White
Cheer Coordinator Holly Geronimo
Head Coach Courtney Meyer
Asst. Coach Jennifer Glass
Ava Rose Stampfel
Brick Dragons D12 Small White
Cheer Coordinator Holly Geronimo
Head Coach Tracy Barcus
Asst Coach Terri Krsyzckowski
Ava Rose Scelfo