First Trip to Nationals for Cheerleaders

The high school’s cheerleaders.

The high school varsity cheerleading team, guided by coaches Ariel Abesamis and Melissa Graziano, competed for the first time in the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship, held this year from Feb. 8-10 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“This group of 13 girls made history,” said Graziano. “As an alumni cheerleader for East Islip and their coach for eight years, I could not have been prouder of them. Their hard work, dedication and determination has really paid off. It has always been a dream for East Islip cheerleaders to go to nationals and these group of girls finally achieved it. Unfortunately, it was not the outcome that we wanted, but we still made history and they did an amazing job. Ariel and I are lucky to coach this group of girls.”

The cheerleading team, ranked first in their division, will next compete in the Suffolk County finals on Feb. 17 at Centereach High School.