By Kelly Burch
---- — Haverhill High’s fall cheerleading season came to an end Sunday, when the team failed to move on at the Merrimack Valley Conference Championship, held at Central Catholic High School.
“It was a tough and unexpected defeat that hit our team hard,” said Hillie senior Rachel Sullivan. “But it will only motivate us to come back stronger and with a positive attitude next season.”
In the past few years, the Hillies cheerleaders have become accustomed to success in the championship, as the cheerleading program at Haverhill High has grown under coach Aimee Martinez and her assistants Maria Francis and Laura Murphy.
For the first time, the Hillies fielded two teams in the competition this weekend — a junior varsity and a varsity squad, with a total of 34 participants. Although neither squad moved on, cheerleaders from both teams were recognized with awards at the end of the competition.
From the junior varsity squad, freshman Leah Maquire received the team player award. On the varsity squad, senior Ryan Connolly was recognized for being a team player, and junior Amanda McCarriston and sophomore Taylor Riddle received spirit awards. Sophomore Madison Eramo was chosen for the all-conference team, while juniors Brianna Comtois and Nadeaje Kingsbury were selected for the all-star team.
The girls will have another shot at the competition when the winter cheering season starts in December.