DeLaSalle’s competition cheer team finished first at the Minnesota State Class A Cheerleading Championships on January 27 at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul. The Islanders earned their tenth competition cheerleading state championship since De started the program in 1997, the second state title in a row and fourth in five years. In Class A, Red Wing finished second and New London-Spicer finished third. DeLaSalle also fields a junior varsity comp team, and they too earned the chance to compete on Saturday.
Over 125 Minnesota schools sponsor competition cheer programs, and DeLaSalle’s has consistently been among the very best in the state over the past two decades. Members of the program work out all summer, to be ready for tryouts in August and the first of many competitions in October. Other cheerleaders opt to participate in sideline cheer programs only. The 60 athletes in the DeLaSalle cheer program are yet another point of Islander Pride in everything they accomplish year after year, and we congratulate them, along with their coaches.
The 2017-18 Islanders also qualified earlier in the season for their 18th National Championship competition, the sixth time qualifying for the prestigious UCA National Championships in Orlando. The UCA competition takes place February 8-12.
Several individual cheerleaders have also earned accolades throughout this season. Captains Libby Cole `18, Jazmine Ngwu `18, and Malia Takeshita `18 have all earned UCA All-American recognition, along with Shelby Luellen `18. Cole and Luellen also were named to the 21-member Minnesota All-State Cheer Team, while Takeshita earned one of the 17 spots on the Honor Team of Excellence – a team that recognizes outstanding academics and leadership, in addition to cheerleading skills.
Of note, the coaches in the program are all former members of Islander championship teams. Veronica Pettini `07 is the head varsity coach and program director. She is assisted on the varsity by Taylor Williams `07 and Ashley Blaine `08. Jessica Luckett `08 is the junior varsity head coach, assisted by Ebony Metters `09 and Anna-Marie Landherr ’08.