Four sisters live very different lives but come together to cheer on the same squad.
The Meyer sisters—Mackenzie, Cassidy, Jillian, and Alexa—have spent their entire lives working to maintain separate identities. This year, however, they get to come together on a team for the first time as they all join the varsity cheerleading squad at Seaford High School in Seaford, New York. The squad hopes the family affair helps bring the sisters together in a new way and leads the team to several great performances at their competitions around the country.
Mackenize Meyer, 17, is the eldest in her family. She is followed up by the identical triplets, Cassidy, Jillian, and Alexa, who are all 16. Though they may share almost all of the same genes, the teens have all established themselves as unique individuals. From their musical tastes to their best subjects in school and plans for the future, the girls all have taken different paths. Their mother, Carolyn Meyer, says she was encouraged by child care experts to let the triplets especially pursue their own interests.
One interest that couldn’t be denied by any of the girls was their mutual love of dancing and performing. Carolyn Meyer had been a cheerleader when she was younger and encouraged all of her girls to start taking up the sport when they were around the age of five. Alexa told Newsday, “We all enjoy dancing and performing, so I think [cheerleading] came pretty naturally.” Still, while two or three of the girls would sometimes end up on the same team, they had never all competed together before.
Last year, Mackenzie made the varsity squad, and this year she is one of the team captains. When the triplets tried out for the team this past spring, they dreamed of finally all getting to cheer together but were still stunned when it actually happened. "It's one of the coolest things we could have imagined," Jillian told Newsday. "We've always been cheerleaders, but the four of us being on a team is kind of surreal." This season, the four Meyer girls take up four of the 24 spots on the Seaford High School squad.
The Meyer sisters aren’t the only family members to grace the Seaford High team. In fact there are another set of sisters (Anna and Emily Gagliano) and also cousins (Paige and Melissa Franco). Carolyn Meyer notes that while other cheer teams will compare themselves to a family, the Seaford squad jokes that “We're not just a family, we're a team.”
Known for much more than their family ties, the Seaford High cheerleaders perform at football and basketball games throughout the year, but they also compete nationally. Their season begins in earnest this November when they begin to attend tournaments, and it will hopefully conclude at Nationals in Orlando this coming February. Last year, the Seaford squad came in 10th in the nation, but they hope that this year’s team will be able to improve upon that ranking.