Gloucester Fishermen Cheerleading '07

Gloucester cheerleading team qualifies for Nationals

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Tuesday, November, 20 By Nick Curcuru

The Gloucester High School cheerleading team received some good news and some bad news this weekend.

The bad news was that they were edged out by Methuen and finished second in the co-ed division of the state competition on Sunday at Shrewsburry High School.

The good news was that the Fishermen's score of 172 was good enough to qualify them for Nationals. A team must score 169 points to qualify. Gloucester also came out of the competition with a positive outlook for pulling off one of their best performances of the year.

"We usually come into states with two main objectives and we accomplished one," Gloucester head coach Eric Bichao said. "But we performed the best we have all year, we got a lot of comments from other coaches and judges."

Gloucester finished 7.5 points behind champion Methuen who recorded 179.5 points. Gloucester would have finished only a half point back but they were penalized. The second-place finish prevented the Fishermen from winning their ninth state championship under head coach Eric Bichao.

"It was good to see the kids perform the way they did knowing they were going up against a great Methuen team," Bichao said. "We put the pressure on them by nailing our routine early, it's disappointing to lose so close, but I am very happy with our performance."

Gloucester, however, can get their redemption at the national championships. The Fishermen have won a national tournament two times in the past and hope to win their third this year in either March or April.

"It is good that we qualified in the fall rather than the spring," Bichao said. "Now we have more time to plan our trip and it takes a lot of pressure off of us."

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