By Briana Florez
Lydia Florez ‘15 and Morgan Mauck ‘16 are co-captains of the Paul VI Varsity Cheerleading Squad. Recently, Florez and Mauck met with Panther Press to talk about this year’s team.
What do you think about the Varsity Squad this year?
LF: We are definitely better than we were last year. We are more motivated, and our coach [Ms. Megan Battle ‘03] pushes us a lot more than we have been pushed in past years.
How do you feel about the new coaching staff?
MM: The new coaching staff is very nice. They push us to the best of our abilities. Our new head coach has very firm rules, and she does a good job enforcing them. She makes us better cheerleaders and a more serious team.
What are your goals for the squad as co captains?
LF: Our main goal is for each member of the varsity squad to master at least a backhandspring. Another goal we have is to hit advanced pyramids, which we’ve never been able to do before.
What event have you had the most fun cheering at this year, or are looking forward to cheering at?
MM: Definitely the Pep Rally. It was really fun being able to join forces with the Dance Team.
Explain what it is like preparing for a performance for a game.
LF: It is very repetitive. Game performance preparation requires a lot of focus, and also practice at home. We are always trying new stunts, too, to see what we might be able to do at a game, so it is just a lot of hard work overall.
This past September, you all were invited by WUSA9 to come cheer on the 11 p.m. news live. What was that like?
MM: It was so exciting! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I remember being really nervous, because I didn’t want to mess up on TV! Getting to do the shoutout at the end with Lydia was also really fun.
What is one piece of advice you have for girls younger than you on the team and for future girls on the team?
LF: Always try your hardest, and no matter what—believe in yourself!
MM: If you have confidence in yourself, your team and your coach, then anything can be achieved!
What is your all-time favorite memory from cheering at Paul VI?
LF: My all-time favorite memory from cheering at PVI would have to be Nationals my freshman year. I was a base originally, but then all of the sudden one of our flyers became injured, and I had to replace her as a flyer. It was really stressful, but getting the chance to perform in that sort of competition was an experience I will never forget!
Who do you think is “one to watch” on your team?
LF: Hailey Molthen ‘17 is, no doubt, the one to watch. She has already come so far since her freshman year. She’s very positive and extremely advanced for her age.
MM: Definitely Michelle Umali ‘18. She’s very flexible and a great dancer. By the time she becomes a senior, she’ll be pretty close to perfect at everything.