District Cheer Competition

Posted: October 9, 2013
Special to The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — With most of the teams only a week away from the Conference 21 mini-meet, area bragging rights were on the line for the local schools at the Northwestern District Cheerleading Competition at Handley High School on Tuesday night.

Sherando proved to be the class of the field, finishing first for the third year in a row, followed by James Wood, Skyline, Handley, and Millbrook.

“I was really pleased that we decided to have a district competition,” Millbrook coach Dawnett Jones said. “With the new conferences beginning, we weren’t really sure how that was going to work. It was really good to get the other area teams together and compete against them one more time before we head to our conference competitions.”

For Sherando — which has qualified for the state championship meet six straight times — it was another opportunity to develop its skills before it heads into postseason competition.

“I thought that we did an amazing job tonight,” Warrior coach Tom Grim said. “Right now we’re working on all of the little things. We had a little trouble with our first pyramid in the opening stunt, but they saved it, and kept it up in the air. That’s the kind of effort that keeps you from losing points. It’s also the kind of polishing that we need to get ready for the upcoming meets.”

“Our team has been so amazing,” Sherando senior Maddy Lesman said. “We work really well together, and have fought through some adversity at the beginning of the season, but we’ve really pulled it together. This meet will give us a lot of energy going into the conference meets.”

Wood, which finished second overall, also looked sharp, and should challenge the Warriors at the upcoming conference meet.

“We take each meet and look at how we performed and then improve on it,” Colonel coach Tracy Copley said. “I think we progressed each week as a team, and have improved our skills.

“It was amazing tonight,” Colonel senior McKayla DeMaio said. “It’s the best feeling you can have to be out there with your best friends, and competing and hitting each of your routines. All of us work so hard, and its really exciting to go out on the floor and put it all together.”

Millbrook, which fielded the youngest team in the meet, was also handicapped since this was also its first meet of the year.

“I was so proud of my team tonight,” Jones said. “They started out really strong. Things that they’ve been struggling with and working hard on they hit tonight. We’re a very young team, and they completely met all of my expectation for them, and I’m really proud of them.”

The Pioneers, along with Sherando and James Wood will be competing with Park View, Woodgrove, Dominion, Loudoun County and Heritage next Wednesday at James Wood in the Conference 21 mini-meet which determines seeding for the conference tournament on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Park View.

The top four teams from the conference meets will compete the next weekend at the 4A North Region Meet at Dominion High School.

“I’m really proud of our team,” Pioneer junior Kaylie Riggleman said. “It was our first competition we’ve had this year, and we haven’t done the full routine that many times. We went out there and gave it our all, and now its time to start getting ready for our next competition.”

Handley will compete at the Conference 23 meet at Harrisonburg High School on Saturday, Oct. 26. In addition to the Judges and the Blue Streaks, the conference teams include Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa County, and Amherst County.

“I thought our girls did a really good job,” Handley coach Dani Hess said. “I thought they tried their hardest, and I’m really proud of them. This meet helped us test and improve on our routine so that we can get a better score next week.”

“It was scary out there,” Judges senior Allie Kitts said. “Since we’re in a different conference we never get a chance to show the other local teams what we can do. I really think that we did awesome. We certainly left it all on the mat. We have an inexperienced team, but I think tonight gave them a good look at what competition is like. That can only help us to improve.”


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