The high school’s varsity cheerleading squad won the school’s first-ever county championship on Feb. 16 at Centereach High School. Coached by Dina Barone and Steffanie Flinter, the cheer team was led by senior captains Adrianna Cigliano, Samantha DiJennaro, Olivia Gmelch, Isabella Isolano, Genna Johnson and Katie Penny.
The team’s hard work and dedication earned them a first-place finish in the Division 1 medium classification competition held Jan. 26 at Sachem North High School, followed by another first-place trophy at a Feb. 2 competition at Hauppauge High School. West Islip’s overall achievement clinched them the second seed in the Section XI county championship.
“Congratulations to the coaches and the Lady Lions on another very impressive season and winning the championship,” said Athletic Director Tim Horan. “Over the past few years, cheerleading has transitioned from a club activity and was officially recognized as an athletic team in 2016 by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. While the transition has been quite challenging, the coaches, athletes and parents and guardians continued to stay positive and persevered. The entire community salutes our cheerleaders, past and present, who built the foundation for such success.”