James Wood takes third at state cheerleading competition

5bdf496fdb4fb.imageJames Wood recorded its second straight third-place finish at the Class 4 state cheerleading competition on Saturday at the Virginia Commonwealth University Siegel Center in Richmond.

Grafton won its third consecutive state title, scoring 267.5 points in the final round. Region 4C champion Riverside placed second (265.5). James Wood scored 241.5 points to edge fourth-place William Byrd (238.5)

In a phone interview, first-year head coach and former assistant Wendy DeMaio said she was pleased.

“The expectations at the beginning of the season was to make top four, so we definitely hit our expectations,” DeMaio said. “The competition was really tough, so we did a really good job. And the support of the James Wood community was just phenomenal.”

This year marked the fifth straight that James Wood advanced to the state competition. Eight teams competed in Class 4, and James Wood was one of four teams that advanced to the final round of competition. The Colonels finished third in the preliminaries behind Riverside (275) and Grafton (263.5) with 240.5, two more than William Byrd and 17.5 more than fifth-place Eastern View.

“We improved our score from regions by 10 points,” DeMaio said. “They went up from every competition from districts to regions to states, so they definitely performed at the top level.”

Prior to the state meet, James Wood won the Class 4 Northwestern District championship and took second at the Region 4C competition.

“We had a really good season, and I had a really young team,” said DeMaio, who has five seniors on the team, four of whom competed Saturday, and 11 new competitors out of 18 from last year’s state team. “We’re definitely going to be strong competitors next year.”

Team members for James Wood are Lauren Taylor, Keilena Burch, Alexsandra Smith, Alyssa Dodd, Julia Marcy, Danielle Ritter, Samatzin Angel-Perez, Desiree Richards, Kelsey Beard, Kayleigh Fridley, Valerie Galpin, Blake Gonzales, Maddy Milburn, Maddi Walker, Jayla Wayland, Kassi Culp, Emma Groot, Paige Linton, and Caroline Partlow.

— Contact Robert Niedzwiecki at rnieThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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