ShareThis Page

Penn-Trafford cheerleaders earn state spot in first season of competition

| Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Submitted
Penn-Trafford's competitive spirit team competes at the WPIAL championships on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at North Hills High School.

The Penn-Trafford competitive spirit team made its first trip to the WPIAL championships count.

Penn-Trafford finished fifth in the large-squad division at the championsips last weekend at North Hills High School, taking the spot as the top alternate and earning a bid to next weekend's PIAA Championships when another school declined its bid.

“The girls are so excited,” coach Kristi Lynn said. “They were thrilled before they even qualified for states. They nailed their performance completely.”

Competitive spirit is in its second year as a WPIAL-sanctioned sport, and Penn-Trafford competed for the first time this season.

Penn-Trafford's team, which consisted of all 21 varsity cheerleaders, began preparation for the WPIAL competition over the summer.

“The girls have not been able to do stunting for over a decade, so we started this summer with some basic stunts with lots of caution and lots of training,” Lynn said. “We had several clinics that we went to and several clinics that came to us to teach proper safety techniques. We decided to do the competition, and they made it to states, which is amazing in only a couple months of the whole new competition scene.”

Routines in competitive spirit include cheering, tumbling, stunting, dancing and pyramids within a time limit of two minutes and 30 seconds.

To prepare for such a difficult routine, Penn-Trafford hired choreographers and held extensive practices throughout the fall.

“On top of our normal schedule of games and practices, we've added another one to two practices a week since summer just for this,” Lynn said. “That's on top of their typical basketball and football cheerleading schedule.”

The practice paid off at the WPIAL competition, as Lynn said the team's stunting was especially strong.

“Since it was basic and we were so new to it, that they were still able to qualify for states (shows) they must have been really good at it,” she said.

The team will now turn its attention to the PIAA competition, which will take place next Friday and Saturday at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Lynn said one of the team's goals for next weekend will be to make it to the semifinals or finals Saturday.

Whatever happens, though, she said she's proud of the work her team has done already.

“They've never fought through all of this,” she said. “They've been completely dedicated and really true athletes.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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.