North Allegheny competitive spirit squad takes second place at championships
Usually, when about half of the roster consists of freshmen and sophomores, a team is in a rebuilding year.
That's not the case for North Allegheny's varsity competitive cheering squad, which for the second consecutive year placed second in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association's competitive spirit championships.
It also was the first year that head coach Courtenay Carrel allowed freshmen to try out for the varsity team.
“I think it was pretty easy to have them adjust to the squad,” senior Alyssa Warth said.
“They are all very talented and nice, so I don't think it made too much of a difference, compared to previous years. I think their experience will help future squads.”
This was the second year the PIAA had the cheerleading competition. Last month, the NA cheerleaders competed against 43 other squads in the state's Medium Varsity Division for squads that had between 16 to 20 athletes. North Allegheny had 20 girls compete.
While they scored 82.23 points to qualify for the state finals, they scored only 80.6 points in the last round. They finished 2.53 points behind the state champion, Bishop McCourt High School, a Catholic school in Johnstown.
“Having WPIAL- and state-championship competitions is a great experience, especially to prepare our younger girls for nationals,” said Warth, 17, of Marshall Township. “It's nice to finally be recognized as a sport and to have our own championship to go after.”
Each squad was judged in six categories: cheering, stunting, tumbling, jumps, dance and pyramids. Within each category, judges scored teams for difficulty and execution.
North Allegheny cheerleaders also competed in the Universal Cheerleaders Association National Championship in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 8 and 9.
Based on roster size and school enrollment, North Allegheny cheerleaders competed in the UCA's Large Varsity Division I category, where they have been finalists in five of the last nine years. The highest North Allegheny ever placed in nationals was fifth in 2009.
While the North Allegheny cheerleaders' goal was to finish in the top 10 nationally, they finished in 17th place, just two spots shy of being finalists for the national title.
“I don't think we were too bothered by just missing finals because I think we were more excited and proud to hit the routine so well with the difficulty that it had,” said senior Maria Fuhrman, 18, of McCandless.
Each squad's routine at nationals could have lasted up to two minutes, 30 seconds.
While up to one minute, 30 seconds of the routine could have been dedicated to a musical number, up to another minute could have been devoted to at least one cheer.
“They have a lot of talent going into next year, and I think this year's results excited everyone a lot, and they'll work 150 percent harder to keep improving,” Fuhrman said.
Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
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.
- McCandless teen to go from CLO’s ‘Gypsy’ to Comtra’s ‘Honk!’
- Vincentian boys, girls basketball camps plant seeds for success
- Photo Gallery: Vacation Bible school at St. Athanasius Catholic Church
- Flea, Vendor and Crafter Market in McCandless to benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- McCandless church to mark July 4 with Civil War drama
- 3 honeybee hives placed on Mt. Alvernia campus in Millvale to help pollinate garden
- North Allegheny grad nets scholarships at national competition
- Pine-Richland High to host summer camp focused on robotic basics
- Guests share thoughts on faith during feast at Richland mosque
- Hampton’s part-time officer earns full-time promotion
- North Hills graduate helps rowing team excel at Eastern Sprints