Holliston Youth Cheer Saw Its Highest Enrollment In 2022
By Susan Manning
Holliston Youth Cheer League President Hayley Fetrow said this past year there were more cheerleaders than ever in the past.
“We have four separate squads this season mostly aligned with our schools. We have an 8U Game Cheer squad with Placentino-age cheerleaders, a 10U Large Squad with a combination of Placentino/Miller-age cheerleaders, a 10U Small Squad with Miller-age cheerleaders and a 14U Small Squad with RAMS-age cheerleaders,” she explained.
HYC’s 57 participants break down like this:
8U Game Cheer squad has 8 athletes
10U Small has 9 athletes
10U Large has 23 athletes
14U Small has 17 athletes
And these 5- to 14-year-old girls are not out there just for the cute uniforms. They practice, hard.
Fetrow said, “HYC Practices are a combination of conditioning, cheers and motions, dance choreography and stunting. Our youngest squad met once a week, while our 10U squads both met twice a week and the 14U met for three practices weekly.”
All that practice prepares him for the competitions they attend. This year the cheerleaders participated in two invitational cheer competitions and the EMASS Local Cheer Competition.
“Our 14U is a nationally tracked advancing team and has competed in the Massachusetts AYC State Cheer Championship and is headed to Rhode Island to participate in the New England Regional AYC Cheer Championship. The goal of advancing to Nationals in Florida would have our 14U squad competing in a total of 6 competitions,” said Fetrow.
The kids involved in the program are only half of the equation. The parents who volunteer their time are the ones who really keep it going. Most of them became involved when their own children started in the league.
“For most of us, it was our daughters that brought us to cheer and a desire to improve the program. For others, it’s also a love of dance and choreography,” Fetrow said.
For her, seeing improvement and excitement among the girls is what makes all of the time and effort worth it.
“The best part of coaching a team is seeing the improvement of the cheerleaders over the season and seeing their confidence build. The excitement on their faces when they learn something new is amazing,” she said.
Fetrow said if anyone is interested in joining the league, reach out. She said
“Holliston Youth Cheer is committed to growing in our community and being inclusive and accessible to cheerleaders of any interest and skill set.”
Courtesy photos by Anne McGrath