WATERTOWN - While the fate of the high school football season has been tossed back and forth as a political hot potato, left out of the conversation have been the athletic young women who are as much a part of the scene as the players, the sideline crew and the fans themselves. They are the cheerleading teams, and at the John Mills Complex, the Watertown High School team under the coaching of Miranda Weidemier and assistants Chelsie Guerrera and Nick Lafferty are determined to make their presence felt this fall, even if fans aren’t there to be entertained and wowed by their chants, flips and dance moves.
“It has been tough,” said Weidemier, “but the team will continue to show up as leaders in whatever capacity they can this season to help raise school spirit and work towards success together as a team this year.”
When last seen, the Indians, winners of numerous NVL and state championships, were about to move on with the boys’ basketball team in the state tournament in March.
That’s when everything changed; in the meantime, not much has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weidemier, as have all of us, has taken it day-by-day, doing what she can and is allowed to within CIAC parameters, but still not knowing how things were going to fall into place.
“Going into the fall season, there was and is still so much uncertainty with what our season will look like,” Weidemier.
“Right now our goal is to focus on what we CAN control and that includes improving strength and conditioning, working on individual drills and skills, developing a growth mindset, and spreading as much positivity and spirit possible throughout the community during this time.”
In the meanwhile, the Indians will keep their focus by engaging in a series of events, Weidemier pointed out.
“We participated in a virtual cheer camp on September 12 to learn new cheer and dance material as well as receive skill instruction for great stunting technique that we can apply once contact practices resume,” Weidemier said.
Always deeply involved in charitable causes on and away from the fields of competition, the Indians won’t be stopped by the pandemic; it’s full-speed ahead towards helping others for Weidemier and the team.
“September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so our team will participate in ‘Team Up For St. Jude’ where they write letters to family and friends to collect donations for childhood cancer awareness and research.
“Together the team will also be participating in the ‘Believe In You’ series with Kevin Atlas, which is created to help empower students to believe in themselves and in their ability to make a positive impact on their schools and communities,” said Weidemier.
While they may not be on the gridiron this fall, trust us, you will know the cheerleaders are going to be a positive force wherever they are, which is something we really need right now.
THE 2020 INDIANS
SENIORS - Kendra DelTorto, Jolie Galasso; JUNIORS -Ruthie Fomo, Gracie Hassan, Jordan Hurley, Nalia Morisson; SOPHOMORES - Julia Hines, Alexa Philippi, Lexie Verno; FRESHMEN - Charlotte Carlson, Kaylee Deluca, Gianna Desena, Emily Hallock, Payton Howard, Ella Kijack, Giovanna Rappicioli, Natalia Veliz.