By: Matt Rothman
Competing in the State Championship for the fourth straight year, the Coral Glades Cheerleading team finished as the runner-up in the 2A Extra-Large-Non-Tumbling Division.
It was a close competition, with the team finishing .02 behind Lakeland High School. While it was disappointing to lose, Head Coach Alison Madej could not be happier with the way their team competed as well as in Districts and Regionals.
“The girls are, of course, upset about coming in second place, but were phenomenal,” she said. “They are champions, and they are champions in second place for their work ethic and how they handled this.”
The truth is, Madej believes her seniors should have finished with four-State championships.
She saw Lakeland make several mistakes with drop stunts; however, she won’t let that affect how she feels about her team in their best showing all season.
She said the team was disappointed with their loss, but credited them with great sportsmanship throughout —- after she was upset with how Lakeland behaved.
“The school that won was incredibly disrespectful, and the most important thing for me is to be a good winner and a good loser, and they are not getting that from their coach, and that’s disappointing,” said Madej.
She is also proud of junior Ashlee Knight, an alternate this season, who stepped in to replace senior Kennedy Rosenberg after a shoulder injury in practice on Thursday.
Coral Glades will also get another shot in Nationals and have the opportunity to face off again with Lakeland as well as many other schools on February 7, in Orlando.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student. Matt also covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writer, the New York Mets for Last Word on Baseball and Florida Gators Athletics for ESPN Gainesville. He has also worked for the Naples Herald, Collier Sports Insider and was an assistant sports editor for his school newspaper.
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