Oceanside’s varsity and junior varsity cheerleading teams hosted their first-ever cheerleading invitational at the high school on Feb. 4, and the two came in second and third place respectively, according to Coach Samantha Chaback.
The Battle By the Sea, as it was dubbed, was the varsity team’s sixth and last competition for the season before the county championships on Feb. 28 in Wantagh, but the highlight, Chaback said, was finally holding the competition on their home turf.
“We’ve been trying to have a competition in here for years,” she said. “For Long Island we’re kind of a new program, so we’ve just been competing and building our name.”
Although the Feb. 4 competition served to put the teams within shooting distance of county and, later, state championships, it also served as a fundraiser for the varsity girls to head to Disney World this month to compete at the annual Universal Cheerleaders Association Championship.
“We had a great turnout,” Chaback said. “We had a ton of parents come and help out.” She added that although she is a competitive coach, she hopes that through cheerleading the girls find a sense of camaraderie and friendship. “I just want them to be proud of what they did and that they did it the best they could,” she said. “And to get the experience of being a part of the team.”