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Pair of Genesee Region cheerleaders win spots on national squad at McDonald All-Star Game

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 10, 2023, 1:12pm

Emily Konfederath, an Alexander High School senior, and Emma Quintern, from Kendall, have been named to the cheer squad for the Ronald McDonald All-Star Game, to be played in Houston in March.

The cheerleaders won their spots on the team through their individual routines in a competition held in Attica.

The Ronald McDonald All-Star Game features top high school basketball talent from throughout the United States. Proceeds from the event benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provides a home-away-from-home for families with children receiving medical treatment at nearby hospitals.

The Grinch joins O-A varsity cheer for halftime show, photo ops

By Howard B. Owens
Dec 18, 2022, 12:22am

The Grinch didn't steal Christmas on Friday night during halftime of the Oakfield-Alabama vs. Pembroke basketball game. He just stole the hearts of families at the game who signed up for pictures with the famous Dr. Seuss character.

The photo session raised $134 to support O-A's varsity cheer program.

Submitted photos.

Travel cheer team from Pembroke racking up win after win in first year

By Howard B. Owens
May 2, 2022, 3:51pm

A first-year travel cheer team from Pembroke, aged 9 to 13, have competed in a total of four competitions and won first place in all four.

Kelly Abramski, one of four coaches for the teams, said the project began with cheerleaders from the Pembroke Youth Association football team and that the girls worked hard all winter.

"The big news here is our little squad from Pembroke is traveling all the way to Virginia Beach to compete in the nationals this weekend," Abramski said. 

UPDATE: Additional information in this press release:

Sunday, March 6 in Erie PA, the Pembroke Youth Association’s new travel cheer squad took home their third consistent first-place banner this season. The squad consists of 12 girls ranging in age from 8-12 and one 11-year-old boy. They are coached by head coach Jasmine Bowser, assistant coaches Robin Czwojdak and Kelly Baker and are choreographed by Lisa Blaun of Law Dance Studio in Batavia, NY. All athletes are students in the Pembroke Central School District. The team competed in the Performance Cheer Division in the 2022 SHOUT Cheer and Dance Competition. Receiving no deductions, the squad was less than one point away from taking Grand Champion for the overall competition.

In February, the team also competed in their first national competition at the SHOUT Rock the Falls Cheer and Dance National Championship in Niagara Falls, NY where they placed first in the Performance Cheer and Division, earning them a bid to the national competition in May to be held in Virginia Beach. They also placed first at the American Cheer Power Buffalo Showdown DISCO Championship in the 12 and under Performance Recreation division later the same month.

This team impresses me each and every time they hit the mat. They work hard, they have fun and they put everything they have into their performances. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of young, talented kids,” said Jasmine Bowser, head coach, sport commissioner and president of Pembroke Youth Association.

Pembroke Youth Association has offered traditional cheer in support of tackle football for years. Listening to the feedback of the parents and athletes, it has long been a goal to establish a competitive arm of the traditional squads to provide the athletes with more relevant competitive experiences. This will better prepare them for the high school level and expose them to other all-star or elite cheer opportunities.

Strengthening our youth program benefits our high school level squads as they move up. The youth cheer program had a solid base, it was my goal to build off of that and make it more competitive. It’s what the athletes asked for and our mission in PYA is about access, and providing the athletic experience kids want and deserve. I am proud of the progress we have made in just a few months’ time. I can only imagine where we will go from here,” said Bowser. 

Three Batavians to participate in Florida championship

By Joanne Beck
Apr 29, 2022, 12:23am

Two local girls and a coach, all from Batavia, will be attending their first-ever competition in Florida with Dynamic Elite Athletics, Batavia resident Robin Cook says.

They will be attending the Summit cheer and dance Championship at Walt Disney World Resort’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex beginning Thursday through May 1.  

Kayla Gangarossa, a Batavia High School graduate, is the coach of the Level 2 ICE team, and her daughter, Payton Spikes, will be going with Level One Junior D1amonds, Cook said in an email to The Batavian

Payton is a fifth-grader at Batavia Middle School. Her mom Kayla was a coach for Batavia Bulldawgs cheerleading, and Payton and her Batavia school peer Hailey Armison were Bulldawgs cheerleaders. Both Payton and Hailey will be participating in the Florida event. Dynamic Elite Athletics is a cheer and tumbling center based in Rochester. 

"This will be our first-ever D2 Summit, as well as our first-ever world finals for our open level 6 team Legacy,” Gangarossa said. “We will be kicking off our decade of purple and teal and celebrating 10 years of Dynamic Elite Athletics the week after we return from the summit."

The Summit Championship, founded by Varsity All-Star in 2013, will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2022 and will showcase more than 1,500 teams and 24,000 competitors from around the globe. The Summit Championship is promoted as a way to provide a unique experience for athletes to compete against the best of the best across all levels of competition. 

Top photos of Payton Spikes and Hailey Armison; the girls' cheersport team and Coach Kayla Gangarossa and Payton, her daughter. Photos submitted by Robin Cook.

Cheerleader coach sisters from Batavia lead team championship in Orlando

By Press Release
Apr 26, 2022, 11:11pm

Press release:

Batavia residents Jacklyn (Borrelli) Pratt and Nicole Borrelli co-coach together for a competitive cheerleading program, New York Icons. The sister coaching duo is honored to have their team, Celebrities, representing their program at the upcoming Summit Championship in Orlando, Florida. The Borrelli sisters have been coaching cheerleading for over 10 years and have been co-coaching their Allstar team together for the past three seasons. These sisters have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with within the cheerleading community.

New York Icons, a local Allstar cheerleading and tumbling training facility, in Rochester is proud to announce that Celebrities will be attending The Summit Championship on a PAID bid in the Small Junior Level Two Division to compete at one of the nation’s most prestigious cheerleading competitions produced by Varsity All-Star. Varsity All-Star is a division of Varsity Spirit – the global leader in cheerleading.

The Summit Championship, held at Walt Disney World® Resort’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from April 28 to May 1, is the season-capping goal for many competitive all-star teams. The Summit Championship, founded by Varsity All-Star in 2013, will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2022 and will showcase more than 1,500 teams and 24,000 competitors from around the globe. The Summit Championship provides a unique experience for athletes to compete against the best of the best across all levels of competition. The Summit Championship and The Dance Summit Championship continue to grow offering multiple paths for teams to have a competitive, prestigious, and celebratory end to their seasons.

The Borrelli sisters and their team have worked extremely hard this season, especially coming off the pandemic and the challenges they faced last season. “We could not have asked for more from our athletes this season,” says the Borrelli sisters. “They have consistently scored the highest overall score throughout our in-season competitions, and we are very proud.” They are heading down to Florida as the TOP Northeast Region Team on the Varsity Leaderboard. 

Jacklyn is a Special Education Teacher at Gates Chili Middle School and the Program Assistant for Gates Chili’s Cheerleading Program. In addition, she has worked with several Genesee Region High School Cheerleading Programs over the last several years and has worked closely with Attica High School. Most importantly, her number one role is being a mom to her one-year-old, Jackson. Nicole is an office manager in Rochester and is the JV Cheerleading Coach for Gates Chili High School along with her other coaching duties and apparel coordinator at New York Icons.

Pembroke Cheer wins first Grand Championship

By Press Release
Feb 11, 2022, 6:20pm

Submitted by Tess Diskin:

Pembroke Varsity Cheerleading made history by first winning their division and then being named Grand Champions for the entire Genesee Region Cheerleading Championship held at Attica High School last night. This is the first time in school history that Pembroke has won the title. First-year head coach Alison Diskin remarked, “These athletes are determined and driven to exceed any expectation that is set for them. It is the start of a new era in Pembroke Cheerleading.” She continued, “We are working on building a seamless program starting at the youth level and working up through Modified, JV and culminating with our Varsity squad. Coach Diskin talked about the importance of having her juniors and seniors mentor the younger athletes so as to carry this year’s success into the future. Her coaching team consistently stresses having the entire program work together to build strong and dedicated cheerleaders, just like the ones who won today.

Submitted photos.

OAE Titans Youth Football and Cheer League signups are Sunday at Oakfield Community Center

By Press Release
Jun 9, 2021, 11:17am

Press release:

Sign ups for the 2021 OAE (Oakfield-Alabama/Elba) Titans Youth Football and Cheer League will be held on this Sunday, June 13, from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Registration will be at the Oakfield Community Center, located at 33 S. Main St. in Oakfield.

Unlimited weight is allowed for ALL positions.

Sign up for:

  • Beginners -- 6-7 years of age
  • Minis -- 8-9 years of age
  • JV -- 10-11 years of age
  • Varsity -- 12-13 years of age

Please provide: Birth Certificate & proof of health insurance. 

Cost for Football and Cheerleading is $130 per athlete.

Cash, personal check, and payment via Venmo are accepted.

"Continuing a Tradition!"


With questions, contact League Commissioner, Brandon Spurling (585) 297-3197 or League Secretary, Elizabeth Mullen (585) 813-5337.

Email: [email protected]

Oakfield-Alabama cheer places second in Sectionals

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 16, 2020, 12:18pm

Oakfield-Alabama placed second in the Section V varsity cheerleading sections in the Class D2 C division. The team competed against 18 other schools.

Photo and info submitted by Amanda Fonda.

BB varsity athletes achieve 100-percent Scholar-Athlete Team awards

By Billie Owens
Jan 11, 2019, 3:59pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The Byron-Bergen Senior High School proudly announces that every fall varsity Byron-Bergen sport team achieved the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Scholar-Athlete Team award.

The fall sports teams are cheerleading, boys cross-country, girls cross-country, football, gymnastics, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball.

“Here at Byron-Bergen we are always proud of our student athletes and their accomplishments,” said Byron-Bergen Athletic Director Rich Hannan. “This fall we are especially proud that all of our fall teams made the NYS Scholar-Athlete Team award.

"As Athletic Director, I am extremely blessed to work with such great student athletes and coaches. This particular recognition is a great testament to the student athletes and what it takes to perform at a high level. In and out of the classroom, our kids are getting it done!”

The Scholar-Athlete program recognizes athletes for their academic success. NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team awards go to teams whose average GPA of 75 percent of the athletic team equals 90 or above.

Scholar-Athlete Team award recipients, with Byron-Bergen HS students named below photos:

Cheerleading (a multi-school team)

  • Sarah Sue Streeter

Cross-country -- Boys

  • Joshua Fleming
  • Zachary Hannan
  • Travis Lambert
  • Colby Leggo
  • John Mercovich
  • Caleb Sharpe
  • Corden Zimmerman

Cross-country -- Girls

  • Rachel Best
  • Camryn Brookhart
  • Dayanara Caballero
  • Siomara Caballero
  • Emma Goodman
  • Sara Goodman
  • Annaliese Hersom
  • Cambria Kinkelaar
  • Alaura Rehwaldt
  • Grace Shepard
  • Emma Smith

Football (a multi-school team)

  • Alexander Dean
  • Anthony DiQuattro
  • Andrew Parnapy

Gymnastics (a multi-school team)

  • Victoria Rogoyski
  • Emily Salmonds

Soccer – Boys

  • Nicholas Baubie
  • Ryan Cooper
  • Adam Drake
  • Kyle Foeller
  • Rick Hubbard
  • William Johnson
  • Hunter Leach
  • Sabastian Pawlukewicz
  • Wade Thompson
  • Nathan Zwerka

Soccer -- Girls

  • Julianna Amesbury
  • Lydia Campbell
  • Zoey Chambry
  • Elizabeth Donnelly
  • Veronica Duell
  • Kelsey Fuller
  • Eden Goff
  • Hope Hersom
  • Melissa MacCowan
  • Jillian Menzie
  • Chloe Shuskey

Volleyball -- Girls

  • Justine Bloom
  • Hannah Catalino
  • Madison Farnsworth
  • Sara Fraser
  • Amaya Gunther
  • Janae Meister
  • Alexandra Vurraro
  • Annabella Vurraro

Photos: Batavia Cheer Squad takes second place in competition

By Steve Ognibene
Feb 19, 2018, 9:04am

Eastridge High School held its annual "Battle on the Ridge" cheer competition this past Saturday in Rochester. The Batavia Varsity squad finished second place in its division. 

Judges score on difficulty and execution in the following catagories: Jumps, pyramid, stunts, tumbling and cheer.

This Saturday Rochester Institute of Technology hosts the Section V competition. 

For more photos to view or purchase click here.

Children ages 4 to 13 invited to learn cheerleading skills from Section V champion cheerleaders on Dec. 16

By Billie Owens
Dec 4, 2017, 4:25pm

Children ages 4 to 13 are invited to learn cheerleading from Batavia's Section V champions.

The Batavia Youth Cheerleading Camp will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 16, in the gymnasium at Batavia Middle School, located at 96 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

Cost is $30. Participants will get a T-shirt. 

Cheerleaders will be served pizza during a quick lunch break, too!

Cheerleaders will work on cheerleading skills including stunts, jumps, sidelines and tumbling. They will also learn a choreographed routine to perform for their families and friends at 11:45 a.m.

In addition, participants are invited to wear their camp T-shirt and join the Section V cheerleading champs at the varsity game half-time performance on Dec. 27 at Genesee Community College (located at One College Road, Batavia). Game starts at 8 p.m. and cheer campers will meet before the game at 7:15 p.m. in the GCC foyer for review of the skills learned.

Checks should be made payable to: Batavia Cheer Boosters. Please include the following information when mailing your payment:

  • Cheerleader Name
  • Cheerleader Age
  • T-shirt Size
  • Emergency Contact Name
  • Emergency Contact Number

Mail registration information and payment to:

Batavia High School

Attn: Cheerleading

260 State St.

Batavia, NY 14020

REMINDER: Batavia Cheerleading's Summer Youth Cheerleading Camp is Aug. 4-5; register now

By Billie Owens
Jul 20, 2017, 3:52pm
Press release:
Batavia Cheerleading will be hosting its annual Summer Youth Cheerleading Camp from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4th, and on Saturday, Aug. 5th, from 9 a.m. to noon at VanDetta Stadium in Batavia, weather permitting (If it rains we will be in Robert Morris School gymnasium.).
The cost is $40 per cheerleader (ages 4-13 welcome!) and participants will learn cheers, jumps, stunts and basic tumbling skills as well as a routine that demonstrates all of the skills learned. Parents are invited to attend a performance at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5th, at VanDetta Stadium.
All cheerleaders who participate will receive a T-shirt, snacks on both days and pizza lunch on Saturday prior to our big performance. We are also hosting the youth camp participants during half time at the Blue Devils first home opener game on Sept. 8th.
Register today! Please submit: name, age, T-shirt size, emergency contact name and phone number and email address. Please send cash or check to Batavia City Schools, Attention: Cheerleading, 260 State St., Batavia, NY 14020.
Email [email protected] for any additional questions!

Genesee Region Cheerleading Championships

By Destin Danser
Feb 12, 2017, 10:41am

Ten teams from the Genesee Region, including six from Genesee County gathered at Alexander High School Saturday for their annual championship competition. 

Representing Genesee County were teams from Alexander, Byron-Bergen, Elba, Notre Dame, Oakfield-Alabama, and Pembroke. Results listed below. 

Ronald-McDonald Individual Competition:

  1. Madeline Rowley -- Holley (pictured below)
  2. Kelsey Daniels -- Holley

Team Competition Division I:

  1. Holley
  2. Attica
  3. Byron-Bergen

Team Competition Division II:

  1. Kendall
  2. Elba
  3. Notre-Dame

Photos by Destin Danser. Click here to view or purchase photos.

BHS senior wins cheer competition

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 6, 2017, 4:21pm

Batavia High School senior Lexi Wahr took First Place in the individual routine competition this weekend at the Empire Cheer Competition. She competed against 15 other cheerleaders and had the highest all-around score. The individual routine is judged on jumps, dance and cheer.

Info and photo submitted.

REMINDER: BHS to hold premiere cheer camp at Vandetta Stadium in July, deadline is July 8

By Billie Owens
Jun 21, 2016, 3:02pm

Children ages 5 to 12 years old are invited to join the Batavia High School cheerleaders at their premiere cheer camp Friday and Saturday, July 29-30, at Vandetta Stadium. The stadium is located at 120 Richmond Ave. in Batavia.

Both days are mandatory. Cost is $40 and will include a camp T-shirt and pizza on Saturday.

Camp on Friday is from 1 to 5 p.m. On Satruday, it's from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a performance for parents at noon.

There will be a cheer merchandise booth for the participants to purchase extra apparel and bows.

Registration is due by July 8.

Questions? Call Melissa Swinehart at 202-6504 or Sherri Wahr at 356-0639.


Mail registration fee, payable to Batavia Cheer Boosters, along with a piece of paper with the cheerleader's name, age, name of parent or guardian, phone number, and shirt size to:

Batavia High School

Attn: Cheer Booster

260 State St.

Batavia, NY 14020

ND Cheer wins Division II competition

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 9, 2016, 9:52am

Press release:

On Wednesday, February 3, the Notre Dame Varsity Cheerleaders took first place for Division II in the Genesee Region League Competition, hosted at Byron-Bergen High School. The 14-girl squad, coached by Megan McNally, competed against Elba, Kendall, Wheatland-Chili, and Lyndonville high schools.

It had been five years since ND Cheerleading last earned the Genesee Region League Title, and was an experience the entire team had been working toward. This goal was especially strong for senior captains Cindy Skalny and Shelby McGinnis. “This has been a dream come true for Shelby and me,” said Skalny, who has competed in four GR competitions to date.  “This win was a combination of all of our hard work and we did it!”

After coming off a less-successful competition at Victor the week before, the squad improved their routine score by over 20 points to solidify the League title. Their hard work is far from over though, as the team prepares for the Section V Competition held at RIT on February 27.


Division I: Byron-Bergen 91.45, Attica 86.6, Holley 86.3, Pembroke 79.6, Alexander 67.5, Oakfield-Alabama 66.3

Division II: Notre Dame 81.15, Kendall 73, Wheatland Chili 66.8, Elba 66.25, Lyndonville 33.5

Two Cheerleading Youth Camps offered next month for ages 4-13 at BMS gym

By Billie Owens
Nov 20, 2015, 1:42pm

Two Batavia Cheerleading Youth Camps will be offered next month and are open to ages 4 through 13. Cost is $25 if registration is before Dec. 4; otherwise it's $30.

You do not have to be in the Batavia School District to participate. All are welcome. Camp sessions will be held at the Batavia Middle School Gymnasium from 5:30 to 7:30 on Friday, Dec. 18, and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19. Participants must attend both sessions.

Coaches and parent volunteers will be working the camps accompanied by basketball junior varsity and varsity cheerleaders. Both camps are mandatory. Participants will learn jumps, arm motions, cheers & chants, stunting, and a 45-second routine appropriate for each age level. They are: Level 1 -- ages 4-6; Level 2 -- ages 7-9; and Level 3 -- ages 10-13.

All cheerleaders will perform the routine learned at the camps with varsity cheerleaders at the Genesee Community College Christmas Tournament game on Monday Dec. 28. Game details and warm-up time TBA.

To register, make checks payable to Batavia Cheerleading Boosters and send cash or check to:

Batavia City Schools

Attention: Justine Briggs

260 State St.

Batavia, NY 14020

Include the registrant's name, age and T-shirt size. Also include an emergency contact name, emergency contact primary phone number, and emergency contact e-mail address.

For additional information or questions, e-mail [email protected]

Visit on Facebook at Batavia Cheer - Batavia Cheerleading

Local youth 'cheer' for Batavia girl with leukemia

By Daniel Crofts
Mar 12, 2015, 3:06pm

A "bulldawg" fighting for her life is a powerful opponent; a "bulldawg" with a team behind her is even more powerful.

Emma Harris, age 4, was diagnosed with leukemia on Jan. 17. Local cheerleaders have teamed up with the community to help Emma and her family with a cheer-a-thon dubbed "Team Emma -- We Got This."

During the afternoon cheer-a-thon this Saturday (3 to 6 p.m.), 47 girls ages 4 through 12 will learn stunts, jumps and a dance routine, which they will then perform for the public in the Batavia High School gym at 260 State St. in Batavia.

BHS cheerleaders and dancers from local studios will also perform in addition to the cheer-a-thon participants.

School doors will open at 6 p.m. The gymnasium will open at 6:30 and the performances begin at 7.

It is free and the public is invited. But of course there will be a donation table for anyone who would like to contribute to help the family with medical and travel expenses.

A Chinese auction and 50/50 raffle will be held, featuring a variety of items ranging from Sabres' tickets to food, toys, gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses, purses, framed pictures, cleaning products, etc.

A student in Jackson Primary School's pre-school program, Emma is an avid cheerleading fan and honorary mascot of the Batavia Bulldawgs, a youth football and cheerleading program. Cheer director Sherri Wahr said that while Emma was not old enough to be a cheerleader, she "put so much effort" into showing up at practices and cheering them on that they "put her in a uniform and let her be our mascot."

"She was there longer days than most of the girls that cheered," said Wahr's daughter, Alexis (15), a JV cheerleader and an assistant to her mother with the Bulldawgs.

"She knew all the cheers just as well as the older girls," Wahr said. "And if they did something wrong, she told them."

She also became very close with Wahr's two daughters, Alexis and Lydia (12), even going so far as to name two of her stuffed animals after them.

When they found out about Emma's condition, Wahr and her daughters were understandably affected.

"I got a phone call from Emma's aunt," Wahr said, "and she told me about the diagnosis. My thought initially was, 'What can I do for them?' Then I picked Alexis and Lydia up from their cheerleading practice and told them the bad news. The first thing they said to me was, 'Mom, what are we going to do?' So brainstorming in the car, all three of us came up with the idea of doing a cheer-a-thon."

On the way to visit Emma at the hospital, they bounced different ideas off each other for a team name, a theme, etc. But it wasn't until they arrived at the hospital that the right idea hit them.

"We brought Emma a megaphone for everyone to sign when they came to visit her," Wahr said. "We wrote 'Team Emma' on it. And then we thought, 'That's awesome.' "

Then Emma's mother came in and showed them a headband someone had sent to the family. Written into the headband were the words, "We got this."

Cheer-a-thon participants were able to raise money for Emma by either submitting a $25 participation fee or obtaining sponsors.

Some, according to Wahr, have done both.

"I know there's been a request for another sponsor sheet," she said, "so somebody's out there getting a lot of sponsors."

Prizes will be awarded to the top three cheerleaders who bring in the most donations.

Whether in the form of sponsoring the cheerleaders, donating items for the raffle and auction, or donating equipment for Saturday's event, Batavia businesses have really come through for Emma.

"It's absolutely amazing the outpouring of support that we've had," Wahr said. "I would say almost half of the businesses in town have donated to Emma in some way, shape or form."

For more information, call or text Wahr at 356-0639.

Photo courtesy of Sherri Wahr.

Batavia Cheerleading Youth Camp

By Sherri Bartz
Nov 4, 2014, 9:47pm


Open to all from ages 4-13


Level 1 – Ages 4-6

Level 2 – Ages 7-9

Level 3 – Ages 10-13

Batavia Cheerleading Boosters Program,

Coaching Staff & Basketball JV and Varsity Cheerleaders

Event Date and Time

Authentically Local