Many of the local high school cheerleading teams earned a spot at the country’s largest national cheerleading competition, held earlier this month at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Barnegat, Pinelands Regional and Southern Regional high schools’ cheerleading squads were among the 557 teams that attended this year’s National High School Cheerleading Championship. ESPN and ESPN2 TV stations broadcast the competition, which featured more than 11,000 cheerleaders representing 30 different states.
|Photo via Southern Regional|
Southern Regional's junior varsity cheerleaders
placed second at the 2014 NHSCC.
Southern Regional’s varsity squad made its 12th consecutive appearance at the competition, placing 18th in the medium varsity division I, which included 46 teams.
“They put out a strong routine in the preliminary round and advanced to semi-finals, where they put on their strongest performance of the year. I am so proud of how they came together as a team,” said Jackie South, Southern Regional’s varsity cheerleading coach.
Southern Regional’s junior varsity team earned its first-ever bid to the national competition after placing first at the Northeast Regional Qualifier in November. Led by Coach Lisa Merlo, the team placed second out of seven teams at the NHSCC in the junior varsity non-tumbling division. The girls were just 0.7 points shy of first place.
–Kelley Anne Essinger
This article was published in The SandPaper.