Buckman Moves up to Varsity Cheerleading Coach

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
October, 2018
Article Body: 

Having grown up in Norwood and cheered for the Mustangs when she was in high school, it was somewhat of a dream come true when Jill Buckman was named the new cheerleading coach. For the past four seasons, Buckman has been at the helm of the junior varsity program and this fall she will take the reins of the varsity squad.
“As a first year varsity coach, I’m hoping and would love for the girls to get to the States,” Buckman said. “It is definitely a possibility, and after our tryouts I had the girls attend a stunt clinic that should be beneficial to our season. Our stunts are usually high level, around a 9 or 10.”
Three senior captains will lead the Mustangs not only in cheering for the football squad this fall, but into battle during invitational meets: Amanda Olbrys, a main base; Alli Kelleher, a back spot who keeps flyers safe if they happen to fall; and Skylar Luneblad, a flyer, will take on the captain responsibilities this season as Norwood looks to advance to the State Tournament.
“From the captains, I am looking for signs of leadership, which they have already been showing,” the coach said. “They’ll also help me when needed; like if I need to get a message out to the team I can text them and they’ll pass it along and let the others know.”
Other key components are senior Charlotte Kelley, a strong main base, senior Kayla Duffy, and junior Grace Buckman, both flyers. The coach knows that it takes all of its athletes to make a team whole, but these are just some of the intrical parts of the Norwood cheerleading squad.
“Everyone on this team is not only important to this team in some capacity but they all are very talented in their own way,” Buckman said. “Each has a strength in different fields to mold us together as a well-rounded team.”
While the flyers are being tossed into the air during routines, tumbling also makes up the squad’s performance. Some of the strong tumblers, all sophomores, are Jillian Olbrys, Sydney Sharkey and Kendra DiTullio.
“We have a lot of young talent that bodes well for our future,” the coach said. “We also have a very strong junior varsity with 16 girls that will eventually help us here on the varsity level. Many schools don’t even have a JV program, so we consider ourselves lucky in that aspect.”
Throughout the season, the Mustang cheerleaders will attend anywhere from four to five Invitationals before participating in the Tri Valley League (TVL) Meet, which could consist of up to nine teams. And although the coach is still unfamiliar with the new league, she is optimistic about her team.
“I really don’t know much about the Tri Valley League as of yet,” Buckman said. “It looks just as competitive as the Bay State [Conference] where there are no easy teams and never a day off.”
As Norwood prepares for the opening of the football season, the girls are also looking to working hard while executing their routines to perfection for when the first invitational comes calling. The Norwood goal is to perform well at the TVL Meet, move onto the Regionals and hopefully do well enough there to earn themselves an opportunity to participate in the States.