Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cheers for the B-P Craftsmen

By LAURIE LOS Sports Editor
Sat. Nov. 10, 2007
Bristol-Plymouth cheerleaders have added three accomplishments to the program’s already storied history recently with three titles.
The Craftsmen, who are coached by Megan McGraw, captured the Mayflower League title Nov. 4th at Tri-County High School. They also won the coed competition and the overall championship, which combined Mayflower League teams with others from the open division.
“The biggest difference is the team as a whole,” McGraw said. “They all like each other. They don’t fight. That makes a big difference.”
A B-P cheerleading team in the fall hasn’t won the league title since 2001 when the Craftsmen brought home their second straight crown. Also around that time B-P cheerleaders finished as the Division III South Co-Champs in 1999.
In all, cheerleaders (fall and winter) have been on the winning end of six league championships and one coed title.
The Craftsmen are hoping to add even more accolades to their impressive season today when they compete during the Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Competition at Taunton High School. The meet, which has both a morning session and afternoon one, begins at 10 a.m.
Taunton, Bridgewater-Raynham, Dighton-Rehoboth and Coyle-Cassidy will also participate in the competition.
McGraw has her team focused on doing well at regionals so the Craftsmen can reach the state meet for the first time in McGraw’s four-year tenure.
“Regionals is the really big deal for us,” she said. “In four years, none of my kids have made it to states.”
The Craftsmen do have a history of performing well when it matters the most. “Bristol-Plymouth — their cheerleading has been one of the most winning sports at the school,” McGraw said. “I know a lot of kids come to B-P because they have a good cheerleading program.” McGraw’s cheerleaders take their sport seriously.
They practice more than two hours a day and nearly every day of the week. Then they perform at football games and participate in competitions. “These kids really want to cheer more than anything,” McGraw explained. “It takes a lot for the kids because a lot of them have jobs. For most of them, cheerleading comes first.”
McGraw hopes to return the cheerleading program to its glory days like in the early 2000s under Jessica Barber.
“She really made Bristol-Plymouth cheerleading great,” McGraw said. “I’m trying to get them back to where she had them.”
The Craftsmen, who include seniors — TJ Pimental, Andrew Demello, Kellie Kangiser, Katie Rizo and Nicole
Luppino; juniors — Meagan Castro, Asia Camara, Linda Sirois and Brittany Tower; sophomores — Toni Restagno, Nicole Abene, Keshia Anderson, Khara Rego, Samantha Lyon and Ana Downing and freshmen — Alyson Gwozdz, Allie “Soda” Andrews, Kaylee “Muffin” Silveira, Olivia Parry, Brittany Raposo, Cortney Morais and Jessica Barboza, have the support of many at the school including the football team.
“A lot of our football players came to this competition we won and they were a huge support for us,” McGraw said. “They’re very supportive of my team.”
The Craftsmen along with the Tigers, Trojans, Falcons and Warriors are hoping for lots of fan support today when they go up against the best teams in the area.

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