, Newburyport, MA

March 5, 2013

Something to cheer about

Georgetown Royals squad to compete for state title

By Jim Sullivan

---- — The Georgetown varsity cheerleading squad just became the most successful Royals team since baseball won a state title last spring by winning the Division 4 North Regional championship at Lowell High School Sunday.

“We’re the last winter sport left for Georgetown,” says Royals’ first-year coach Tracy Wood. “The kids have worked super hard. It’s amazing the amount of work they’ve put into it to get this far. We’ve had a great season.”

The Royals won first place in regionals on Sunday with a score of 138, taking down Winthrop and Lowell Catholic to make it to the state championships this weekend.

But things didn’t look quite as rosy for the Royals Saturday afternoon when they found out that teammate Liv Raffaelle had fractured a bone in her hand doing a back spring on Friday. When a squad is made up of 13 members, each with a specific place and role to fill, one injury can make or break them.

“We were pretty worried,” admits senior co-captain Monika Tes. “That night, we had to do all the changes so there wouldn’t be an empty spot.”

So the Royals competed with12 girls instead of 13 and as Tes says, they simply absorbed the loss.

“We all came together,” Wood says of the injury aftermath. “We practiced really hard on Saturday. And the girls went in, and they won. The girls really pulled it together.”

Working together since the day after Thanksgiving, these Royals have been through the usual sicknesses and injuries that plague most winter sports and now, they are the only ones left.

“I knew they could do it,” Wood says of her girls. “I was nervous for them, but I just felt like, if anybody could pull it off, it was them. They wanted it.”

Things have also gone very well for Wood, who took over the program in the summer.

“I had no doubts that they would do well,” says Wood. “I have faith in their abilities. You can coach the kids all you want but they have to want it, and these kids, that’s what they want to do.”

The Royals will now head down to Tantasqua Regional High School in Fiskdale on March 10 to compete for the state title.

“I’m proud of them as it is,” Tes says of her Royals. “We can only go up from here.”

“They’re so happy right now,” says Wood. “All of their hard work paid off and that’s what I told them. I said, ‘You’ve worked too hard for this. Put your nerves aside.’”