By Chris Villani
Sports Reporter/Columnist

The Milford High cheerleading team continued a strong winter season by winning the South Regional title, giving the Scarlet Hawks momentum heading into the state competition and the national tournament.

Before winning the regional competition, Milford competed in four individual tournaments and took home first place in all four.

“We have had our ups and downs like any team, but they have worked together to take the chances they needed to in order to be as successful as they have been,” head coach Heather Johnson said. “They have not missed a beat.”

The Scarlet Hawks also finished a close second to Franklin in the cheerleading-rich Hockomock League. While Milford is a Division II school and Franklin is Division I, all of the league’s schools compete together in one meet. The cheerleading talent in the Hock showed during regionals, as Milford and Franklin were two of four programs that captured titles in their respective divisions.

MHS has been anchored by captains Gabby Mobilia, Jenna Mastroianni and Maya Mitchell. Johnson said she is confident heading into this weekend’s state competition.

“I feel great,” she said. “We have worked hard and, at the end of the day, I just want them to go out and hit their routine and whatever happens, happens. There is a subjectivity to cheerleading, but if you hit your routine and do the best you can, that’s all we can ask.”

“I do think they have a great opportunity to go out there and be very successful,” the coach added.

Johnson said that, even with all the victories, there is room for improvement heading into the biggest meets of the season and her team will take the judges’ comments from the regional meet and try to sharpen the routine.

“We want to clean up the routine a bit but also make sure they are confident in themselves,” Johnson said.

Milford is slated to leave for the nationals in Orlando on March 17. In addition to the competition itself, Johnson said the team will be spending time sightseeing at Universal Studios. MHS was supposed to go to nationals exactly two years ago, but the COVID-19 pandemic upended those plans.

“They are all very excited, especially because we were shut down and unable to go in 2020,” the coach said. “We have been looking forward to this, it’s two years in the making.”