ShareThis Page

Group garners cheers for latest championship

| Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
The Charleroi Competition Cheerleaders took the title of state champions last month at the Pennsylvania Cheerleading and Dance State Competition. submitted
The Charleroi Competition Cheerleaders took the title of state champions last month at the Pennsylvania Cheerleading and Dance State Competition. submitted

When the Charleroi Competition Cheerleaders took the title of state champions last month at the Pennsylvania Cheerleading and Dance State Competition, it was by no means new ground the for the storied squad.

The first-place finish at the Elite Cheer event held at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh was just the latest victory for the team coached by Jaime Carson and Darlene DeiCas.

Last year, the Charleroi team finished third among 80 teams at the national tournament in Disney World. They will compete at Feb. 9-10 at nationals in Ohio.

The team won national titles at Disney World in 2009 and Hershey Park in 2006 and 2007. They have won multiple state competitions.

The competition team is open to all high school girls. They exclusively cheer at competitions.

The season starts each year in August at Kennywood, which usually draws 50 teams. The Charleroi team took first place in the medium varsity division this year.

The season stretches through February when the nationals are held, this year at Kalahari Resorts in Ohio.

The Charleroi team has been competing for about 10 years.

“We found there were girls from Charleroi that wanted to compete but did not want to cheer at games, so we made a separate team,” Carson explained.

The team comprises 16 girls who earn their spot on the team through tryouts in April.

For the past eight years, the team has held a competition at the high school in November to fund its national trips.

Carson started coaching the high school varsity team at 19, after cheering there previously. This past year, she gave up the varsity job to concentrate on the competition team.

The girls must undergo extensive conditioning.

“We do conditioning at every practice,” Carson said. “The amount of dance and cheer is minimal as compared to tumbling and stunting and jumping. The dance may be 15 seconds of the 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and the rest is tumbling and stunts and pyramids.”

The events are very strenuous. Injuries are common.

“We have not had one competition with the same 16 girls,” Carson said. “We're always bringing an alternate or someone on the sideline.

“Cheerleading is very underestimated, and Charleroi has a great tradition. I love the girls, and they're very deserving of the honors they get.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.