Ashland Cheer

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
April, 2018
Article Body: 

When Marie Burke and her assistant Rebecka Fillion, both past Clocker cheerleaders who were part of the 2009 State Championship team, took over the Ashland program this past fall the squad did not possess a winter team. The two coaches found it very important to grow the program so having a winter squad was of the utmost importance if Ashland ever wanted to qualify for the Regionals.
“We only had seven girls on the winter team and our goal right from the start was to make it to the Regionals,” Head Coach Burke said. “The girls consistently performed well at all the Invitationals that we attended leading up to the Tri-Valley League Competition, which Ashland hosted. We were very excited that all of our hard work paid off and the team qualified for the South Regional Cheer Competition.”
During the fall season Ashland found themselves just short of the required 73 score to advance to the Regionals as the Clockers best score of the season was a 70. Although Ashland had competed well throughout the winter season they once again found themselves possibly looking in on the Regionals from the outside. However, in their meet of the Season (the TVL Competition) Ashland finished in fifth place and broke the 73 point barrier to punch their ticket to the South Regional Cheer Competition.
“At our first competition of the (winter) season we began scoring in the high 60’s,” Assistant Coach Fillion said. “Through their hard work and dedication the girls improved week to week until we finally got that qualifying score at the TVL Championships.”
Leading Ashland into competition this season was senior captain Amy Cafarelli, who was also the captain of the fall season and is a base for the team. Also representing the Clockers this winter were Isabella Castillo, a junior flyer participating in her first full year as a cheerleader; junior base Leah Kukles and sophomores Samantha Dasilva (back spot), Elizabeth Dennis (back spot) Maressa Tang (flyer) and first time cheerleader Maria “Andrea” Pedraza (base).
According to the coach, outside the two exceptions listed above, most of the girls have been cheering for several years and their routine includes several categories such as stunting, motions, dance, jumps and tumbling.
Prior to Burke and Fillion taking over the program, the coaching position at Ashland had changed hands a few times in recent years, but the Clocker cheerleaders were always hard working.
“From a cheerleading standpoint, the Tri-Valley League has consistently had strong performing teams,” Burke said. “And the friendly competition throughout the league has always driven us to better ourselves.”
Needless to say, Ashland had accomplished the feat of advancing to the South Regional Cheer Competition.