As high school cheerleading teams enter the competitive ranks within their states, they are subjected to categories based on the size of their schools and number/genders of team members. But for two teams in Connecticut, team size, makeup and location don’t matter – they’re sharing space and ideas to support a very special bond.
Cromwell High School is in a small town on the Connecticut River with 620 students. Wilbur Cross High School is in New Haven, Connecticut and has 1,300 students. Cromwell’s cheer team practices at their intermediate school with seven mats and a large practice area, while Wilbur Cross has only two mats and practices in the school lobby. Cromwell cheer coach Beth Sarnacki and Wilbur Cross coach Vicky Lassek brought their teams together three years ago to share Cromwell’s space for a practice session.
“We shared our mats, had dinner after and a relationship began,” Beth says. Now, the teams meet two or three times each winter for practice and a spirited fellowship.
That wasn’t all the teams shared. Both Cromwell and Wilbur Cross share the colors of red, black and white, along with the letter “C.” So when Wilbur Cross added two boys to its team, Beth shared two male uniforms she had, as her team was now all girl.
“You would think we gave them the world,” she says.
At the state cheerleading competition, the two teams sit together, fix each other’s hair and makeup and encourage each other on the mat. They even shared cheer shoes once when a team member had a malfunction during warmups!
“I don’t think they see each other as Wilbur Cross and Cromwell. Instead, they are one family. They have our backs and we have theirs,” Beth says. “Working together has been a fantastic and fun experience for all of us, not only to make lasting friendships, but to learn new cheer ideas and techniques. We found that we could teach them new things and make them believe in themselves as much as we believed in them.”
These two squads are an awesome example of sharing your spirit with fellow cheerleaders. Way to go!