By Cary Shuman
The St. Mary’s High School (Lynn) basketball cheerleading squad, led by coach Beverly Richards Buckley, has earned a berth in the New England Cheerleading Tournament.
The squad claimed its spot among the elite as a result of its fifth-place finish in the Massachusetts State finals Sunday at Wachussett Regional High School.
Three East Boston students, junior Ashley Arciero and sophomores Tiffany Albanese and Alyssa Bruno, are members of the squad. St. Mary’s had earlier captured the Catholic Central League championship.
“I am more than proud – I don’t even have words to express how proud I am of these girls,” said Buckley, a former New England Patriots cheerleader and well-known dance instructor. “They gave their maximum effort and the judges responded with high marks for their performance.”
Buckley said that Arciero, Albanese and Bruno excelled in the two-and-a-half minute routine that displayed the girls’ cheering ability, stunts and tumbling prowess, and overall athleticism.
“The East Boston girls showed tremendous poise and confidence while competing in front of a tremendous crowd at the gym,” said Buckley. “The squad worked hard to reach this level of competition and showed that it deserved to be ranked among the best in Massachusetts. It was a great day for the girls and our school who has been so supportive of our squad throughout the season.”
The 15-member St. Mary’s squad will compete for the N.E. title Saturday in Providence, Rhode Island.
Two East Boston girls, Tayla Fernandez and Catie Ruggiero, helped the St. Mary’s High School dance team earn a sixth-place finish among 13 squads in the State Dance Championships at Wachussett Regional. The St. Mary’s dance team is also coached by Beverly Richards Buckley.