Juliana Barone is a senior cheerleader, a fly as they call her for how she gets thrown through the air, and captain at Bunnell High, who will help lead the Bulldogs into Friday night’s SWC championship competition at Newtown High School.
A former gymnast, who trained in Shelton, Barone made the jump to cheering her freshman year and has spent eight seasons on the sidelines, supporting the BHS football and basketball programs.
She’s also a member of Bunnell’s Captains’ Council, B-Kind Club and Make-A-Wish club, as well.
Her plans for the future are to head to college—she’s hoping it’ll be the University of Delaware—where she will major in occupational therapy.
After Monday’s Bunnell girls basketball game, Barone went On The Record with The Stratford Sports Scene.
STRATFORD SPORTS SCENE: What’s the best thing about Bunnell High School?
JULIANA BARONE: At Bunnell everybody is like a family. Everybody is really close and we all know each other.
SSS: If you could change one thing about the school, what would it be?
JB: Some of the rules. It’s hard with school work and it’s so much with sports and school.
SSS: Which teacher has had the biggest impact on you during your high school career?
JB: Mr. (Michael) Piroh. He teaches history. He’s always somebody I can go to get help.
SSS: How did you wind up being a cheerleader?
JB: I wanted to do a sport and I had always been into gymnastics, so I was like let me try cheer. I made the team my freshman year and I’m glad I started it.
SSS: What was the toughest thing to learn after you started being a cheerleader?
JB: Stunting. Being lifted into the air. I had to get over that fear of going in the air and trusting the people underneath you. It was difficult.
SSS: What does it take to become a good cheerleading program or team?
JB: Dedication. A lot of dedication and believing in yourself and your team and trusting everybody.
SSS: What’s the highest you’ve ever flown?
JB: As far up as you can go, I guess. As far as they can throw me up.
SSS: What are your strengths at being a cheerleader?
JB: Being a team player. I can trust every body and we can all talk and everything. And jumps. We’ve been having jump competitions, and I’ve gotten first and third, so far.
SSS: What sport would you like to try that you’ve never played before?
JB: Just do it for fun? Actually, lacrosse for some reason. I always wanted to try it.
SSS: What is your earliest sports-related memory?
JB: Gymnastics when I was younger. Being on the (uneven) bars. That was my favorite part of gymnastics to do.
SSS: What scares you?
JB: Being out at sea and not being able to see land. Just having all that water around me. I can’t go on boats because of that.
SSS: What is something nobody else knows about you?
JB: I’m a very scared person. Everything scares me. It can be the littlest thing.
SSS: If Hollywood was going to make a movie about your life, what would it be titled and who will play you?
JB: Who would play me? Jessica Alba. And the title would be, “A Mess of a Life” or “A Mess Called Juliana Barone.” (Laughs)
SSS: Who is your perfect prom date?
JB: My boyfriend. (Editor’s note: Barone’s boyfriend John Bike of Stratford High School answer this same question with “his girlfriend.” Not sure if this is the first-ever unofficial “prom-posal” in Stratford Sports Scene history, but it might be).
SSS: What is your perfect breakfast?
JB: Bacon, egg and cheese.
SSS: And the ideal midnight snack?
JB: Mac and Cheese.
SSS: How about your favorite home-cooked meal?
JB: I like chicken cutlets.
SSS: Twenty years from now, where do you see yourself?
JB: Hopefully having a successful job and a family and just being happy.
SSS: Other than Stratford, where would you like to live?
JB: I love Florida, so probably Florida.
SSS: What one word best describes you?
JB: This is hard. Why is one word so hard? I’d say generous.