Pine-Richland cheerleaders win first-ever WPIAL cheer crown
By Jerry Clark
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:02 p.m.
It took a long time for cheerleading to earn respect as a sport from the WPIAL and PIAA, but when the organizations welcomed the cheerleaders into the group, the Pine-Richland team wasted no time showing what it could do.
The past two weekends, the Pine-Richland cheerleading squad used dazzling routines, similar to what they entertain fans with during games, to capture the inaugural WPIAL Cheerleading Championship and a silver medal in the PIAA competition.
“We were fighting very hard to get recognized as a sport,” Pine-Richland coach Danielle Hitson said.
Hitson said the competition is run similar to how football or basketball is divided up.
There are Class AAA, AA and A divisions within the WPIAL competition, which differs slightly from the PIAA competition, where teams are arranged into small, medium and large divisions.
Pine-Richland competed against teams from Shaler, Butler, North Allegheny, Franklin Regional and North Hills among others for the WPIAL championship. Each team performs, and the best score after everyone has performed wins.
“I have been coaching a long time, so that made this more amazing and exciting,” Hitson said. “We have competed nationally before, but getting to compete locally is all the better.”
Hitson said she owes a lot to the parents who contribute financially so choreographers and dance coaches can help the team.
“We all work together on strength and dance,” Hitson said. “We tweak the routines as we go and alter things based off our scores.”
Hitson said it usually takes a weekend to knock out the majority of a routine. The team keeps the foundation the same and adds or takes out tosses and spins according to the situation.
Hitson said the kids are proud, yet humble about the accomplishments but don't plan to rest on these accomplishments as they head to nationals.
Despite the success in competition, Hitson noted that the competitions are not a requirement, and the girls put school first.
“They all have high GPAs and know school is the most important thing,” Hitson said.
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Kovacevic: Enough of these Steelers already
- Penguins’ Orpik out; Neal to have phone hearing
- Steelers WR Brown says ‘I thought I had it clean’ after wild, near-miss finish
- Penguins players are not out looking for fights
- Cranberry woman wins Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant
- Likely loss of Steelers draft pick looms because of Tomlin misstep
- Multi-vehicle crash closes Route 22 in Murrysville
- Steelers’ NFL playoff hopes are all but gone in loss to Dolphins
- Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, Westmoreland counties weigh shale gas drilling on public land
- Pitt to face MAC champ Bowling Green in Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
- Defensive lapses against Dolphins outweigh positives for Steelers