Sachem East cheerleaders make their music with a fourth win in a row

When the Sachem East cheerleaders take the mat, no music follows.

The speakers in the DJ booth work perfectly. This team wants to open with their own sound.

Usually, the opening of a cheerleading routine involves a lot of excitement and music. But Sachem East wanted to prove it was just something this season, instead opting to open the regular season with a loud cheer.

“We want to get the crowd going right away,” said CEO Erika Palermo. “We are focused on bringing energy and making sure we are ‘Sachem Strong.’ This is what we represent in happiness and what we want to be known for.”

The team dominated on the floor Saturday as it took fourth in a row with a score of 89.3 in the first session of the Division I Small Schools Championships at Smithtown West. Hauppauge placed second (87.9) and Ward Melville finished third (83.5).

“This year, we did something different and started off with a bang,” coach Brianna Aghabekian said. “Most of the teams at the [UCA] [National High School Cheerleading Championship] are on top with cheerleading and we want to be the first team on the island to do it.”

“We [as coaches] love it because we feel it helps [the girls] get over their nerves,” said Coach Victoria Aghabekian, Brianna’s twin sister.

When the music started, Sachem East brought out an exciting set of explosions and stunts. Eighth grader Kacey Berger shines and kills a flawless Arab by twisting the mat.

“The younger girls are very strong and talented,” said senior Brianna Snyder. “It’s amazing to experience this win with them and know that they can go on.”

In the second session of the Division I small-school tournament, the East Islip team earned its first win of the season with 88.1 points over Smithtown East (85.3) and Riverhead (83.4).

“After placing almost even in the top three in the previous games, we want to assure ourselves that our hard work will pay off,” said senior Lauren Holmes. “That’s what we did.”

East Islip had more work than expected as the team faced the challenge of adjusting to the final dollar changes two days before the tournament.

“At first, it was definitely a little bit frustrating and stressful,” junior Kaylee Wilko said. “But we know that each one of us has the full potential to do what we have to do. We have full confidence in each other.

“I think that being open to change is what helped us get through as a team and why we’re still able to do our best work today,” Riley Kramer said.

“These challenges really bring us together,” said senior Sofia Costarelli. “They brought us closer together as a team, than we were before. It’s this bond that we have that made us hold this plaque today.”

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