The Severna Park High School coed varsity cheerleading squad flipped the script this winter and landed a spot at states.
When coach Brooke Glasgow came on board in November, following the fall competition season in which the Falcons didn’t advance past counties, she set a simple goal: to finish their winter counties in the top half.
“They didn’t know how good they were; they didn’t understand the talent that they had,” said Glasgow, a former collegiate and professional cheerleader. “I saw it immediately.”
Glasgow wasn’t the only new face. The winter squad had some additions, including junior Kian Williams and his brother, Matthew, a freshman who joined the squad for winter after football season was over. Kian and Matthew moved to Severna Park from Germany, where Kian had prior cheerleading experience. The addition of these brothers broadened the stunt potential for the squad, but first the team had to gel.
“When you bring two energetic meathead kids on the team, everything kind of changes, but once we all got comfortable with each other the team vibe was really, really good,” said the elder Williams.
After dedicating some time to team-building and acclimating to their new coach and the latest members of the squad, they got to work on perfecting their two-and-a-half-minute routine, practicing six days a week ahead of the mid-January county competition in Crofton.
“It was very obvious after the first week that this season was going to turn out very well,” said Paige Davis, the squad’s captain and only senior.
Their hard work paid off, and the Falcons were awarded a ticket to regionals. Glasgow’s goal had not only been met, but far surpassed.
“[They] really left it all on the mat, probably their best routine they did all season,” Glasgow said of the performance at counties.
They spent the next week enhancing their routine to maximize their potential score before heading to Harford Community College for regionals. The squad faced rigid judging this round, and despite a quality performance, they left with the lowest score they’d earned all season.
“Our score did not reflect how well we did, so once we figured out our score, we all were very bummed,” Davis said.
While the top seven schools advanced to states, only the top three were announced at the event. The Falcons headed back to the bus believing their season had come to an end. As they huddled in a circle in the parking lot where some tears were being shed, their coach got their attention.
Davis said they were expecting a quintessential “I’m proud of you anyway” speech, but Glasgow had just received the final results on her phone. Once again, the Falcons had finished sixth and were advancing.
“Nobody could believe it,” Williams said. “Then she showed us [the screen] and everybody started screaming. It was a really cool moment to be a part of.”
Once again, the Falcon cheerleaders had a short amount of time to rework the routine, this time for states.
“We decided we’d made it this far; let’s just go big or go home,” Glasgow said.
The Falcon cheerleaders made one last trip to Harford County for states. They ultimately finished the season ranked sixth in the state for division 4A.
“We knew it was our last performance with this team, so we all put our everything into it,” Davis said. “It was an awesome, awesome experience.”
Glasgow said the team had a familial unity amongst themselves by the end of the season.
“That was way more important for building a program than even making it to states,” Glasgow said. “I would’ve been happy with just that, but the fact that they were so successful in everything that they did was just so fun to watch as a coach.”