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November 16, 2019
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The Hand cheerleading squad claimed first place in the Cheer Division at the Universal Cheer Association Cheer Camp. Pictured are (front) Ali Ciotti, Dara McShane, Hailey Ryan, Maddie SanMarco, Gina Ciotti, and Izzy Carusone; (back) Julia Collins, Audrey Anselmo, Cali Anselmo, Julia Sponzo, Alainna McDowall, Colby Earle, Emily VanKirk, Julie Lawton, and Reegan O’Dea. Photo courtesy of Licia Ciotti

The Hand cheerleading squad claimed first place in the Cheer Division at the Universal Cheer Association Cheer Camp. Pictured are (front) Ali Ciotti, Dara McShane, Hailey Ryan, Maddie SanMarco, Gina Ciotti, and Izzy Carusone; (back) Julia Collins, Audrey Anselmo, Cali Anselmo, Julia Sponzo, Alainna McDowall, Colby Earle, Emily VanKirk, Julie Lawton, and Reegan O’Dea. (Photo courtesy of Licia Ciotti )

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The Tigers won the hip-hop title at the Universal Cheer Association Cheer Camp. Hand’s dancers are Audrey Anselmo, Alainna McDowall, Julia Collins, Ali Ciotti, and Cali Anselmo. Photo courtesy of Licia Ciotti

The Tigers won the hip-hop title at the Universal Cheer Association Cheer Camp. Hand’s dancers are Audrey Anselmo, Alainna McDowall, Julia Collins, Ali Ciotti, and Cali Anselmo. (Photo courtesy of Licia Ciotti )

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Six members of the Hand cheer team recently garnered All-American honors. The team’s All-American cheerleaders are Izzy Carusone, Gina Ciotti, Dara McShane, Maddie SanMarco, Julie Lawton, and Emily VanKirk. Photo courtesy of Licia Ciotti

Six members of the Hand cheer team recently garnered All-American honors. The team’s All-American cheerleaders are Izzy Carusone, Gina Ciotti, Dara McShane, Maddie SanMarco, Julie Lawton, and Emily VanKirk. (Photo courtesy of Licia Ciotti )

Hand Cheerleading Starts New Season on a Positive Note

Published Sep 06, 2019 • Last Updated 12:39 pm, September 06, 2019

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The Daniel Hand High School cheerleading team is working hard while preparing to have a successful 2019-’20 season. Despite losing eight seniors from last season’s team, the Tigers began their year on a great note by turning in an excellent performance at the Universal Cheer Association (UCA) Cheer Camp that was held at Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts.

Hand collected several awards based on its stellar showing at the UCA Cheer Camp. As a team, the Tigers finished in first place in the Cheer Division at the camp. The members of the Hand cheerleading squad are senior captains Izzy Carusone and Gina Ciotti, along with Audrey Anselmo, Cali Anselmo, Ali Ciotti, Julia Collins, Colby Earle, Julie Lawton, Alainna McDowall, Dara McShane, Reegan O’Dea, Hailey Ryan, Maddie SanMarco, Julia Sponzo, and Emily VanKirk.

The Tigers’ team of Audrey Anselmo, Cali Anselmo, Ali Ciotti, Collins, and McDowell won the hip-hop dance championship at the camp. Hand also took home the Superior Award, which is presented in recognition of a team’s hard work and improvement throughout the week; as well as the Tradition Award, which goes to the team that best exemplifies the importance of school and community traditions.

Ali Ciotti, Gina Ciotti, and McShane received the Pin It Forward Award that is given to cheerleaders who stand out individually by exemplifying the qualities of a model cheerleader on and off the field. Izzy Carusone, Gina Ciotti, Lawton, McShane, SanMarco, and VanKirk were selected as All-American cheerleaders and invited to march in the Macy’s Day Parade that will be held in London on New Year’s Day. Additionally, Izzy Carusone and Gina Ciotti were asked to join the UCA staff for next summer. There were only a handful of cheerleaders among the 350 at the camp who received this honor, which recognizes their elite cheer skills, as well as their leadership and role model abilities.

Head Coach Licia Ciotti was thrilled with her team’s performance at the UCA Cheer Camp. Ciotti said the Tigers will be working hard to gain their elite stunting skills with a new-look roster this season.

“I am proud to say our team was recognized as the cleanest team at camp by our peers, noting our discipline in how we present our routines with strong motions, clean and sharp dance, and formations,” said Ciotti. “The level of skill will improve as we work through the season.”

Information courtesy of Licia Ciotti

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