Something to cheer about

Cheerleading squads compete at North High

Cheerleading squads compete at North High

November 18, 2002|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN - Give me a "B" for boisterous - a word that could sum up the cheerleaders and fans who attended the Eastern Cheerleaders Association regional competition Saturday at North Hagerstown High School.

Throughout the event, fans often stood, shook pompoms and did a lot of cheering of their own for their children, friends and relatives competing for a chance to advance to a national cheerleading championship next year.

Stefanie Stevenson, a coach for the Hagers-town Heat Pee Wee squad, said teams from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., participated.


The results of the competition were not available Saturday night.

The teams are scored on several factors, including execution of their routine, stunts, jumping, tumbling, degree of difficulty and choreography. The highest possible score is 100.

Each team has 2 minutes and 35 seconds to perform.

Stevenson said she tells her squad to have fun whenever it competes.

"If they walk away with a trophy, they walk away with a trophy," Stevenson said. "As long as they're having fun, that's all that matters."

Victoria Sweeney, 13, a member of the Hagerstown Tigers, said the key to being a good cheerleader is to smile.

She also said tumbling and stunting is the best part of being a cheerleader.

During the competition, the cheerleaders - consisting of females and males - danced, flipped, gyrated and spiraled their bodies in the air before being hoisted over the heads of fellow squad members.

Myranda Bernhisel, 9, also a member of the Hagerstown Tigers, said those moves require teamwork, which is something she enjoys.

"I just like to cheer," Victoria said.

Hagerstown Tigers Coach Stephanie Carver said her squad participates in the Alsatia Mummers' Parade over the summer and attends a summer cheer camp to prepare for competitions, which usually begin in September.

Pam Jamison, co-owner of the Maryland Magic of Frederick, Md., said her squad of about 18 girls performed at the ECA competition for the first time Saturday.

"The girls had been unhappy with where they were, and they begged us to do it," Jamison said.

Pat Rakich is the other owner of the Maryland Magic.

"We're proud of them," Jamison said. "They've worked very hard for over five months."

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