By: Haylee Leayman
This past weekend, the Salisbury Twirlers traveled to Wildwood, New Jersey for the TIA Atlantic Coast Championships and took the 1st place title. It was held at the Convention Center on the boardwalk in Wildwood Crest. This was their first time back since 2019 due to COVID-19 precautions.
This year the team consisted of three seniors (Eric Smith, Emma Kichline, Savannah Harford), three juniors (Alexis Stroble, Mia Bernard, Izzy Gualano, Bryiah Ogola), one sophomore (Haylee Leayman) and one freshman (Sally Wiggins). They were also joined by four middle schoolers due to a shortage in numbers (Alex Mumbauer, Tammy Rodriguez, Alix Martinez Sosa, and Isabel Orloski).
The team traveled to Wildwood Thursday morning and was there until Sunday morning. While there, they also supported other local color guards, teams including Catasauqua High School and Parkland High School.
The twirlers have not only won the championship title this season but also the Jennifer Joy Dillman Memorial Award, which is presented to the most improved twirling team, as well as the Robert Musser Memorial Award, presented to the team with best sportsmanship.
Mid-season, the twirlers also moved up in category from Scholastic A to Open Class, which is based on the level of skill the group has.
After the competition weekend was over, one parent on Facebook said, “What an incredible group of young people! My daughter who is in Kutztown twirl team loves this group of kids. They are so encouraging to other teams. She said Eric (Smith) gave her a heart with his fingers today and that really was very special to her. Kutztown team had a rough day but it’s encouragement from teams like this that make it so much more special and beautiful! Thank you! Good luck to the seniors we will miss you!”
Senior Emma Kichline said, “It was such a great season with a family-like team. Moving up to open class twirlers and performing every weekend was just so much fun.”
The coaches were beyond pleased with the team’s final performance. Wildwood ended the season, but the team is more than excited to get ready for next year’s show.