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PrepZone awards Staples cheerleader Kate Berkley student of the month

Photo contributed by @pprepzone on Instagram
Kate Berkley ’26 is gifted her student athlete of the month shirt.

She lifts humans over her head, hits motions like you’ve never seen and she’s an accomplished student—she’s student athlete of the month. PrepZone, a podcast which covers local high school sports, awarded Kate Berkley ’26 March’s student athlete of the month. A dedicated cheerleader and a hard working student, Berkley was one of four nominees.

Not only is Berkley a part of the game day cheerleading team and competitive cheerleading team, she also has a 4.0 GPA. Matia Berti, head cheerleading coach, nominated Berkley for this award. After being nominated, she received the most votes and received the title. 

“I was really surprised to be nominated but I was also very happy,” Berkley said. “It was an honor to be going up against such strong athletes, but I think my work ethic at cheer and in class got me to win.” 

Berkley has been a part of both the game day and competitive cheerleading teams since her freshman year. Since her time on the team, Berkley has made sure to prioritize her support for her fellow teammates. Through all the ups and downs, Berkley has kept a positive attitude. 

I went into it this year looking to have fun going up against other teams. It wasn’t about winning; it was about being a team.

— Kate Berkley ’26

“I went into it this year looking to have fun going up against other teams,” Berkley said. “It wasn’t about winning; it was about being a team.”

Berkley knows first hand how much hard work is put into cheerleading at Staples; however, many people recognize cheerleading as an activity where their only job is to cheer on other sports teams. 

“I’ve definitely had some interactions with people who would come up to me asking what I had to win,” Berkley said. “I feel like people take cheer as a joke but there is so much more to it than people think, especially during the comp season.”

Even with her rigorous athletic career, Berkley is also a strong student. However, her academic success doesn’t come easily. She focuses on managing her time and school work by using the resources available to her. 

“Using my academic support teachers and using that period to get my homework done and study is really helpful,” Berkley said. “I continue working at home, too, so it gives me extra time.”

Berkley was once a dancer before entering high school, but she decided to pass on her talent to something else. She knew she was ready to take a new step and get involved with the school community.

“I was nervous to leave something I’ve dedicated my life to,” Berkley said. “I’m super happy I joined cheer because I’ve made a lot of new connections, and learned new things that I don’t think I would have if I stayed in dance […] I never expected to get so into [cheerleading], and now it’s something I really love and have improved a lot in.”

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