The 2011 cheerleading season for Hasbrouck Heights began with change.
Tryouts were cut, and all incoming freshmen were no longer allowed to try for a spot on the varsity team. Instead, the varsity team consists of the same girls as a year ago, each of which went through the tryout process with anonymous judges who critiqued things like jumps, a portion of a halftime dance, a cheer, and pep.
In addition to the new changes regarding squads, a switch in coaches also took place. Mrs. Angela O’Brien, a former Hasbrouck Heights coach, took up the reigns of the team. She traveled back and forth between her town and Heights to accommodate summer practices for both the varsity and junior varsity teams. And Assistant coach Mrs. Linda Condal decided to return for her third year after pleas from the senior girls. The two coaches worked together to make executive decisions regarding the team such as new pompoms, new stunts, and new methods to make the weekly banner.
The last significant change this year was the elimination of captain and co-captain positions. All five of the senior girls were declared captains and worked together as a group to create a halftime dance, organize sideline cheers, decorate for the pep rally, and group together girls compatible for lifting together.
In the end, the girls came together and made the team, as fans are calling it, “the best year ever.”