On Friday, March 5, the members of the cheerleading squad celebrated coach Lynn DePasquale’s birthday by presenting her with a cake. The girls on the squad, however, promised DePasquale’s real birthday present would be delivered the following day at the 2011 Rhode Island Cheerleading Coaches Association Middle School/Jr. High State Championships at West Warwick High School. Kickemuit won the Large School Division, beating rival Deering Jr. High School by 10.5 points.
The girls delivered on their promise. The Kickemuit squad presented their coach with the bright, shiny trophy after the Kickemuit girls capped off their unbeaten season by capturing the state championship.
“The girls gave me the best birthday present,” said DePasquale. “They did an awesome job. I am incredibly proud of this team. Everyone worked very hard all season. They were extremely dedicated.”
DePasquale, a former Bristol High School cheerleader who has directed the KMS team for the last 12 years, said she has had unbeaten teams in the past and has coached state championship teams throughout the years, but the 2011 Kickemuit squad stands out among the best.
“We had scores higher than high school teams this year,” said DePasquale, a sixth grade math teacher Kickemuit Middle School.
The Kickemuit squad won all seven meets they participated in this year. She attributes the team’s success to countless hours of practice, hard work and dedication.
“They were so determined to stay undefeated,” she said. “They practiced extremely hard. Each week they wanted to exceed their scores from the previous week. They set individual and team goals and worked hard to accomplish them. “
While the girls excelled in all aspects of cheerleading, tumbling proved to be one of their major strengths.
They created t-shirts with purple lettering: FTT. The acronym stood for “Full Team Tumble.” This inspired every Kickemuit squad member to work toward being able to do a standing back handspring.
“These girls set high goals and ran with them,” said DePasqaule. “That’s what made them so successful.”
The 2011 Kickemuit State Championship team was comprised of Hailey Almeida, Jessica Braz, Sarah Brule, Cailin Burke, Captain Jessica Cerce, Captain Morgan Chaves, Kristen Couto, Arianna Dabir, Sophia Desmarais, Joy DeSousa, Destiny Diniz, Captain Victoria Gendreau, Amanda Gomes, Raquel Leste, Alyssa Marino, Jordan Masaitis, Kimberly Mendes, Katelyn O’Connell, Captain Jordan Perroni, Dorian Quezada, Sofia Silveira, Chelsea Soares, Melissa Soto and Hailey Thomas. The team is led by head coach Lynn DePasquale and is assisted by Missy Gendreau & Randy Brule.