The College of Staten Island Cheerleading squad is continuing to make headlines past their competitive season, and this time it is on a national level. The squad celebrated its first ever All-American awards, bestowed to Ashley Isaacs and Giana Abbrusseze by Inside Cheerleading magazine. Known to insiders as “iC,” the publication is designed to help athletes enjoy, train, perform, compete and live cheerleading to the maximum. Each year, the magazine gives its top laurels after evaluating nominations from collegiate coaches. Isaacs and Abbruzzese were two of 20 total All-Americans and were the only pair representing NCAA Division III institutions.
“I’ve always looked up to Division I cheerleading programs and being mentioned alongside members of teams from the University of Alabama and University of Memphis is a great honor and will raise the standards for collegiate cheerleading at CSI,” said Abbrusseze, a Nursing major at CSI who helped champion the squad to a CUNYAC title in 2012 and a runner-up finish in 2013.
Isaacs, a team captain and flyer for the unit, earned CSI a gold medal in the 2013 Jumping routine at this year’s championship, pairing up with freshman Yenitza Mendes. The junior Biology major at CSI was quick to acknowledge the prestige of the accolade.
“To be recognized beside some of the top cheerleading programs shows that my devotion, hard work and talent are beneficial,” Isaacs said. “It’s exciting to bring recognition to the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) and the College of Staten Island. Cheerleading is most definitely a sport and we’re working hard to make our reputation better than ever before.”
Isaacs also notes that with the high honor, comes higher expectations for the future. “With this honor comes the chance as a team to improve our skills, grow, and compete nationally,” the captain said. “I hope this encourages more students to try out this fall and in the years to come.”
To be considered for All-American status, respective head coaches need to nominate their deserving candidates. For CSI Head Coach Justine Elyse Green, the decision to nominate Isaacs and Abbrusseze was an easy one.
“Ashley and Giana are unbelievable cheerleaders and I am thrilled that both athletes were selected as members of the iC 2013 Collegiate All-American Team and hope to have many more in the future. We’re a small program, but there’s a great deal of talent walking around our campus and they epitomize that. We’re reaching for excellence and we encourage everyone learn more about us and join our family.”
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, iC magazine is currently distributed to Books-A-Million, Borders, Hastings, and Barnes & Noble. The magazine features correspondents that include 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist gymnast Jaycie Phelps and former World and Olympic gymnastics team member John Macready. For more information on iC magazine, log on to: www.insidecheerleading.com. For a complete list of 2013 All-Americans click here.
The College of Staten Island Cheerleading program continues to strive for excellence and is looking for talented individuals to supplement its roster. The team has already held a pair of Captain’s Clinics with more try-out dates scheduled on the horizon. For more information, contact Coach Green at JustineG04@yahoo.com.