Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online


June 26, 2013

Leaps & Bounds

Lockport woman turns bitter disappointment into universal success



Maria’s competitive career blossomed a year later when she made the all-girls Cardinals cheerleading squad and helped her team claim another national championship in Daytona, Fla. That same year, she tried out for the prestigious Team USA Cheerleading squad and was one of only 30 young women nationwide to make the team.
Over the years, she’s appeared with her teammates almost a half dozen times on the national cable sports network, ESPN.
“Right after college nationals in Daytona, we’d go straight to Team USA training for two weeks at the end of April and we’d compete in Orlando against teams from around the world, including Finland, Norway and Mexico.
“It’s an amazing social experience. We’d meet with every team and exchange gifts and talk to them. They really look up to the United States and many of them want to have their picture taken with you and want your autograph,” Maria said. “One of the most popular tradition between teams was we’d trade shirts, like they do in soccer.”
A testament to how far she’s come since her days tumbling in the Lockport Flips gym, last year Maria was named All-American collegiate cheerleader and this past year, her junior year, she was named an All-American stunt athlete. In addition, this past semester at Louisville, Maria posted a 3.8 GPA. Her optimistic future plans after college include graduate school.
“I love competitive cheerleading because it’s a team sport and it’s helped me become a better team player in life,” Maria said. “I found myself at times in the past not wanting to work hard and I know I was at times difficult to work with because I didn’t take criticism very well, but over the years my experience with competitive cheerleading, collegiate cheerleading and Team USA cheerleading has definitely helped me to get jobs and internships.”
Where ever Maria ends up after college, be rest assured that she’ll get there with another giant leap — but this time, a leap steeped in faith and self confidence.
Maria has five older brothers, Michael, Gregory, Bill, Paul and Tony D’Addeo. Maria’s father, Michael, is the owner of The Car Place on West Genesee Street.

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