Wheeling Park High School was the place to be on Nov. 3 as 26 High School cheerleading squads competed at the Region I Regional Cheerleading Championships. Local squads, Tyler Consolidated and Paden City competed in the Class A division along with Clay Battelle, Madonna, Cameron, Bishop Donahue, St. Marys, Magnolia, Wheeling Central and Valley, with the Central Maroon Knights and Lady Silver Knights of Consolidated taking first and second in order to advance to State.
The Class A competition began at 10 a.m. with last years state champions, Clay-Battelle, taking the court first, followed by Bishop Donahue, Madonna, St. Marys, Tyler Consolidated, Magnolia, Cameron, Wheeling Central, Paden City and Valley in order. When all was said and done, the Maroon Knights were announced as Regional Champions with the Tyler Consolidated squad earning the runner-up slot. Both teams will compete at the West Virginia State High School Cheerleading Championships in Charleston on Dec. 8.
"I can't believe three years into coaching this team, the girls are going to state," said head coach of the Silver Knight squad, Stefanie Suter. "They have put a lot of effort and extra time into this routine. These girls sacrifice so much for this sport, and their hard work and dedication definitely paid off."
Members the Knight cheerleading squad heading to state are: Makayla Clegg, Jessica Fiber, Logann Long, Randy Taylor, Alex Bubenchik, Shandi Lane, Kali Mead, Brooke Keys, Laken Miller, Sierra Mace, Megan Wilson, Jayme Jeffers, Sydney Glover, and Katlyn Seckman.
"Assistant coach Laci Strode and I are very proud of the girls," Suter said. "We went up against some of the toughest schools in Single A in the state."
"We were also very excited to see all of the fans from Tyler County there to support the girls. We had the biggest cheer section there! We hope to see as many people in Charleston on December 8."
Paden City's cheerleading squad also performed very well at the competition. Head coach of the Lady 'Cats, Rachel Stoneking, said she was very proud of how well her team performed under pressure. Members of the Wildcat squad include: Lynnsie Parsons, Madison Pierce, Sa,mantha Lyons, Cydney Blatt, Desiree Heasley, Tori Anderson, Kayla Hizer, Akayla Kline, and Hannah Stanley.
In the Class AA competition at the Region I Regional, East Fairmont placed first with North Marion placing second over Fairmont Senior, Weir, Webster County, Braxton County, Roane County, Oak Glen and Ritchie County. In the Class AAA competition, Brooke High School's squad earned a first place finish with the cheerleaders from Wheeling Park placing second, over Morgantown, University, Parkersburg South, Parkersburg and John Marshall.
The State competition will be held at the Charleston Civic Center on Dec. 8.