Kicking off the “Pompetition” Season


The euphoria of being promoted to Division I following the 2012 competition season has long since passed for the RHS pom squad. Only two members of the current team experienced the Cinderella story of placing third as newcomers to the division firsthand.
However, none of that is relevant anymore.
“We’re focused on being the sharpest we can be come competition time,” senior Skye Nielsen said. Nielsen is one of the two squad members of the senior class that have been on the team since their freshman year, along with captain Ambre Flowers.
This positive mindset that the elders of the team have spread has also grown thanks to the new coach, Megan Freed. Freed was previously the coach of the Clarksburg HS pom squad, and came to RHS after the departure of the previous two coaches following last season.
Freed has altered the attitude of practices to create an atmosphere of productivity among the team, starting from the top down. The upperclassmen act as models of excellence for the younger members to reflect their energy and work ethic off of.
The squad’s first competition was at Northwest HS Jan. 9. They reside in the thick of a power-packed division with near-flawless teams in every corner. Just how would they fare, many asked, when their competitors are as fierce as ever?
“We’re confident in our abilities,” senior captain Samantha Dellenoci said before the competition. “It’ll be a matter of executing like we know we can.”
The team finished in fifth place, falling short of fourth place to Richard Montgomery HS by a mere one point. Magruder HS won the first place prize. This is RM’s first year in Division I, along with Poolesville HS, who took home the spirit award. RHS junior captain Mia Krawczel was given fourth place for the captain’s award.
The squad was not satisfied whatsoever. As a result, the team came out to the second competition and finished in fourth place, one better than the previous competition, and one place away from the top three positions.
The team knew their third, and final preparatory competition before the county competition would be the most monumentous of all.
Through sweat and through tears, the team was awarded third place for their third performance, sparking a raucous celebration to be carried into Counties. Only Magruder HS and Poolesville HS scored more points.
“We have a good mindset. We’re ready,” Dellenoci said.