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Nipmuc Cheer wins another CMass crown Fall squad captures third straight district championship

Many of Nipmuc's 11 seniors have been cheering together since they were seven years old. (L to R) Chloe Ball, Ava Smith, Lilly Moshier, Lilia Young, Emma Haley, Casey Keyes, Libby Fernald, Phallon Clark, Molli Powers, Sabrina Cassano, Sofie Geremia. Photo credit Christie Keyes

By Chris Villani
The current group of Nipmuc senior cheerleaders have been cheering together since they were little kids. In fact, most of them came together when they were seven years old. Varsity head coach Christie Keyes has been with the group throughout their entire run, and the team helped her win a third-straight Central Mass. Division II championship in her final year at the helm.
“We had high expectations, and this senior class is pretty special,” Keyes said. “I have been coaching them since they were seven. I started right with the junior program, and started to help build them up so they could have a great high school career.”

Nipmuc had two sets of captains who helped them win a third district title. (L to R) Lilia Young, Emma Haley, Casey Keyes, Phallon Clark. Photo credit Christie Keyes


After winning yet another district title, Nipmuc earned a fourth-place finish at the state meet, the highest placement in program history.
“Watching them come all the way through their senior year of high school, and having such an amazing season, was pretty sweet,” Keyes said.
This year’s team featured 11 seniors and two sets of captains. Lilia Young and Phallon Clark served as Nipmuc’s game day captains.
“They made sure that we were in control and organized at games, and school spirit was a big focus,” Keyes said. “They were fantastic.”
Emma Haley and Casey Keyes were Nipmuc’s competition captains.
“They helped make sure the team stayed motivated and prepared for competition,” Keyes said. “Those two captains are unique in that they cheer year-round.”
Both Haley and Keyes have ambitions to cheer in college, and recently showcased their skills at a recruitment clinic at the University of New Hampshire.
Fellow seniors Chloe Ball, Ava Smith, Lilly Moshier, Libby Fernald, Molli Powers, Sabrina Cassano, and Sofie Geremia were all huge contributors to the program’s success, not only this season, but also over the past two. Keyes said the only thing that prevented Nipmuc from potentially winning four district titles in a row is the fact that the competition four years ago was canceled due to the pandemic.
“They have been together for so long,” Keyes said of her seniors. “They are really close, they trust each other, they support each other, and they have fun together.”
Keyes will be stepping down and leaving the program with the crop of seniors that includes her daughter. 
“I am hoping to hand the program over to someone who is interested in continuing the winning tradition,” she said. “There are a lot of good underclassmen coming up, and I am looking forward to handing over the keys to the next coach.”