Two graduates of the Revere Pop Warner cheerleading program helped lead the St. Mary’s High School (Lynn) basketball cheerleading squad to a fifth-place finish in the New England Championships in Providence.
St. Mary’s juniors Courtney Carey and Jillian Powers are members of the varsity squad that won the Catholic Central League championship.
St. Mary’s, under the direction of coach Beverly Buckley, advanced to the New Englands as a result of its fifth-place finish in the Massachusetts State Championships at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden.
Courtney Carey is in her eighth consecutive year of cheerleading. She began cheering in the Revere Junior Patriots organization and continued in the sport when she entered St. Mary’s as a freshman.
“I used to go to my cousin’s [Robert Otollo] Revere High football games and I’d see the cheerleaders and I loved the fact that they were cheering for their teams so I wanted to be a cheerleader,” said Carey.
She played in the Revere Girls Basketball League, but dancing and cheerleading became her primary extra-curricular pursuits.
Carey has 13 years of dance training from the Nicole Zervas Dance Academy in Revere and Dance Connections in Saugus. She is a four-year cheerleader at St. Mary’s.
Carey said she was happy to reunite with Powers in the St. Mary’s cheerleading program. “I’ve been cheering with Jillian for eight years, beginning in Revere Pop Warner,” said Courtney, daughter of Michael and Christina Carey. “We’ve been cheering together for a long time, so she’s one of my really good friends.”
Powers, daughter of Kristen Galli, John Powers, and Michael Galli, said it’s been a great season and having Courtney Carey as a teammate once again has made cheerleading a lot of fun.
“Courtney’s one of my best friends – I like all the girls on our squad, they’re cool,” said Powers, who studied dance for one year at Nicole Zervas Dance Academy. “I felt we’ve accomplished a lot as a squad by reaching the state finals and advancing to the New Englands.”
“Courtney and Jillian are outstanding athletes, but what I like about them most is that they’re outstanding students and caring individuals who are well respected and role models throughout the school,” said Buckley.