by Jill Cole-Splawski
The Hilbert Starz Cheerleaders have engaged in a long season that ended in a victorious manner for the Starz. The season began with a competitive try out that ended with 13 athletes on the team. The team would practice regularly on Sunday and Wednesday nights from 8 PM- 11 PM. The team also cheered at almost every home basketball game for the Women’s or Men’s game.
The team then went to two competitions to show their Hilbert spirit. The first competition was the Chardon Cupid Cheer and Dance Challenge in Ohio where the team won first place on February 19th, 2017. The second competition was the Sanborn Falls Freeze Cheer and Dance Frenzy here in Western NY on February 26th, 2017 where they won second place after the RIT Tigers. The Hilbert Starz however won the Outstanding Sportsmanship Banner for the whole competition.
The 2016-2017 season is wrapping up, but throughout this season, the three “seniors” led the organization with developing authentic relationships with new students to ensure a strong future for the team. Taylor Smith and Kelsi Sajdak were the elected captains to the team who were asserted in finding a group of talented athletes from move in day to late September when try-outs occurred. The captains coordinated efforts for side lines, game prep and spirit along with assisting in organizing the competitions the team would attend. Team Mediator Paula Barton was also an influencer by helping with team morale and spirit. The seniors set a precedent on what it means to be a Hilbert Starz and the fans has reciprocated with an immense amount of support at games and competition.
Please take a moment to say thank you to the Hilbert Starz Cheerleaders who have worked hard all season to infuse Hilbert Spirit into our community. The team was comprised of; Taylor Smith, Kelsi Sajdak, Paula Barton, Becca Giurdanella, Katie Eleczko, Emily Doan, Kaylee O’Donnell, Haley Sunday, Taylor Achtyl, Emily Weimer, Kaitlin Graw and Kimmie Cox. The team was coached/advised by Jill Cole-Splawski (Director of Residence Life & Judicial Affairs) and Colleen Kumiega (Assistant Professor of Human Services).