28 APRIL 19, 2018 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Ridgewood schools host huge
BY RYAN KELLEY
In eight short years, cheerleading
in Ridgewood schools has grown
It all started with the Owls at P.S
71, where the students wore leggings
and T-shirts when the fi rst team was
formed. Assistant Principal Allison
Napoli said that the school launched a
fundraising campaign to buy cheerleading
uniforms, and soon the school had
three separate teams.
In time, the cheerleaders moved on to
middle school at I.S. 93, and a team was
formed there. Naturally, when they
reached Grover Cleveland High School,
a cheerleading program began there as
well. As Napoli puts it, “We built from
the bottom up.”
The local popularity of cheerleading
culminated in an impressive show of
spirit on April 14 at Grover Cleveland
for the second-annual Owl NYC Cheerleading
Competition. With more than
30 teams from many parts of the city
split into four sessions and several age
divisions, the event was double the size
of the debut event last year, Napoli said.
One of the sessions even included all
teams from District 24, which Napoli
was especially proud of.
While the growth of the sport has
been impressive, Napoli’s personal
motivation has been one of the driving
forces behind it.
“I keep joking around that one day
we’re going to be in the Barclays Center
and have to take over,” Napoli said.
“Cheer on Long Island is much bigger
and we’re trying to grow it here in the
boroughs to give these kids the opportunity
to participate. It’s now considered
a sport, so they can get scholarships
and they can cheer from high school to
college. I actually did cheerleading on a
scholarship, and that was the thing I felt
kept me in school and kept me focused.
That’s what I wanted to bring to them.”
The top three teams in each division
were awarded with trophies, but the
teams that didn’t make the podium were
also given small trophies recognizing
In the senior elementary division,
the Brooklyn Diamonds took home the
fi rst-place trophy while P.S. 71 Senior
Cheer came in second and P.S. 153 came
in third. The junior high non-mount
division saw only two teams compete,
with I.S. 217 coming in fi rst place and
P.S./I.S. 214 coming in second place.
The regular junior high division
had enough teams to be split into two
sessions, and the top three teams in each
session were awarded. The Brooklyn
Diamonds took the top spot again with
their junior high team in the fi rst session,
while I.S. 318 came in second and St.
Gregory’s came in third. In the second
session of the junior high division, I.S.
93 was named the winner with I.S. 113
coming in second and P.S./I.S. 102 coming
Two teams competed in the elementary
dance division, and P.S. 88 was the
fi rst-place fi nisher while P.S. 71 came in
second. Two teams also competed in the
elite cheer division, with the GRYC Elite
team taking fi rst place and Columbia
Secondary fi nishing in second place.
Spirit awards were also given to P.S.
71’s tiny cheer, mini cheer and mini
dance teams, Iconic Cheer Elite and