WPIAL teams collect cheerleading titles
TribLIVE Sports Videos
More than 300 teenage girls gathered at North Hills High School on Saturday afternoon.
No, it wasn't for a Justin Bieber concert, but for the inaugural WPIAL competitive spirit championship.
In the sport's first year of being sanctioned by the WPIAL, Pine-Richland took home the Class AAA crown, while Hopewell won in Class AA and Neshannock in Class A.
“It feels amazing, especially because you're competing against your peers” Pine-Richland coach Danielle Hitson said. “We go to nationals every year and we compete nationally, but when you're competing against your peers it makes all the difference.”
The top seven finishers from Class AAA, top two in Class AA and three in Class A along with the following top six additional scoring teams in any classification advanced to the PIAA championships on Feb. 2 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Rounding out the top seven automatic qualifiers in Class AAA behind Pine Richland were Shaler, Butler, North Allegheny, Montour, North Hills and Norwin. Additionally, Bethel Park, Mt. Lebanon and Franklin Regional also will represent the WPIAL in Hershey after scoring well enough to qualify.
In Class AA, South Fayette qualified as the runner-up behind Hopewell; West Shamokin and Indiana also advanced. In Class A, Bishop Canevin and Laurel qualified behind Neshannock, and Eden Christian Academy also will compete at Giant Center.
While Bishop Canevin was not able to win the Class AA title, it took great pride in its runner-up performance, given the circumstances.
“It means a lot because we didn't have a coach and we only had about a week to prepare this,” Bishop Canevin senior captain Kara Cinker said. “We just had the seniors making up the routine. We didn't have a choreographer, so it was kind of hard for us but we pulled it all together.”
Danielle Lageman, who temporarily stepped in as Bishop Canevin's coach before the championship meet, said even though this is the first year cheerleading has been recognized in the area as an official sport, it has always meant a lot within the school.
“At Bishop Canevin, cheerleading has always been very important,” Lageman said. “In fact, these girls won a national championship in Florida in 2010. This has been important to them because now we're a recognized sport that we thought we were all along. This just confirms that.”
Each team was graded on two components of its performance: the cheer portion and a music segment. Teams were scored out of a possible 100 points on categories such as partner stunts, pyramids, tumbling, presentation of material and execution.
While only in its first year as a WPIAL sport, Hitson believes cheerleading is flourishing.
“Western Pennsylvania especially is huge (in cheerleading), and I think now the WPIAL is finally realizing that it's more of a sport than a recreational thing,” she said.
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.
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.
- Lopsided loss to Eagles shows Steelers have issues aplenty
- Steelers notebook: Keisel always hoped to return
- Harrison’s 5 RBIs help Pirates pound Brewers
- Hero Franklin Regional security guard out of work
- Woman in stable condition after Hill District shooting that killed daughter
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Sandusky cover-up case unusually shrouded
- Traffic for eastbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel getting congested
- Roundup: Keurig strikes deal with Kraft on coffee brands; more
- Car goes over hillside near Aliquippa High School
- Records: Steelers RB Bell admitted smoking pot before traffic stop but denied being high