Senior captain Angelina DeMarco is an influential member of the East Haven cheerleading squad this season, proving a key motivator and teacher for the younger girls. (Photo courtesy of Angelina DeMarco
Angelina DeMarco Helps Easties Take NECA Crown
Published March 12, 2014. Last updated 02:06 p.m., March 11, 2014
Angelina DeMarco's cheerleading career dates back to middle school after she made the move from gymnast to cheerleader. She's very passionate when it comes to gymnastics and brings that same enthusiasm to the cheering mats, especially for competition season.
"I like focusing on our team rather than others," says Angelina. "I love cheering on our football team, but I like learning our routine and doing our routine and working hard to perfect it. That's what my favorite part of the season is, rather than just cheering on another team."
Angelina's tenacity when it comes to competitions has led to her twice being named an All-SCC cheerleader and also being the second-highest scorer at an SCC competition. Aside from the individual success, Angelina's hard work has helped the East Haven cheerleading squad win the New England Cheerleading Association competition. The NECA is hosted at East Haven High School and it's an event the Easties hadn't won dating back prior to 2003, which is when current Head Coach Michelle Maru entered the school.
"It meant everything to us. We worked hard all season for it. We knew that this was the year that we could do the best," says Angelina. "Although at our first two competitions we didn't place as well as we expected, we worked extra hard for this competition because we've gotten second every year I've been in high school and we knew that this was the year that we could get first. We worked with each other and as a team because we knew that we all wanted it. It made my whole year."
Angelina was a huge influence on her squad this season as a senior captain as she made motivation a key to her leadership.
"My goal was to motivate the girls to really work their hardest and want to do it, rather than dreading it, and I think it worked," says Angelina of how she wanted to differ from past captains.
"She contributes a lot to the team. Not only as a leader, but she is also a great cheerleader," adds Coach Maru. "The other team members look up to her as a friend and a role model."
Angelina developed into a great teacher to her teammates in all four categories of cheer-tumbling, cheering, stunting, and dancing. Her vast background in gymnastics allowed her to be the most influential when it came to tumbling.
"I have the most advanced past on the team and I've helped other girls with technique to make them be able to tumble. I was always inspired by my coaches that I've had so I've always aspired to be like them so it comes easy to me when I teach the girls on my team technique," says Angelina, who plans to attend Southern Connecticut and will try out for their cheer squad. "For tumbling, sometimes they're doing something wrong and they get frustrated because they don't know how to do it so I help them calm down and tell them what they're doing wrong and tell them to try something new and it usually works. Then, they feel satisfied after, which makes me happy because I know that I'm doing something right."