Hempfield to host WPIAL competitive spirit championships Saturday

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Friday, January 5, 2018 | 12:54 PM


Shaler, Elizabeth Forward and Bishop Canevin will be looking to defend their titles Saturday at the sixth annual WPIAL competitive spirit championships at Hempfield.

Thirty-three high school teams are expected to compete at the Spartan Fieldhouse.

The event will begin with large group competition at 10 a.m., followed by medium groups at 11:40 a.m. and small groups at 1:50 p.m. Awards will be announced around 3:15 p.m.

WPIAL titles will be awarded in Class AAA, AA and A.

Squads also will compete in three divisions: small (15 or fewer members), medium (16-20) and large (21-30).

All squads will perform a 2-minute, 30-second routine and will be judged on specific criteria.

Each team's presentation must include at least one cheer or sideline chant, and the musical portion must not exceed 1 minute, 30 seconds. Teams are assessed penalties for going over on time, or if a team member steps outside the 54-by-42-foot foam mat.

Sixteen teams will qualify for the PIAA championships, set for Jan. 19-20 in Hershey. That includes four small, five medium and four large teams, as well as three at-large selections.

Last year, 16 WPIAL teams advanced to the state competition — Shaler, North Allegheny, Baldwin, Hampton, Pine-Richland, Elizabeth Forward, Norwin, Bethel Park, Hopewell, Thomas Jefferson, Butler, Penn-Trafford, Seneca Valley, North Hills, South Park and South Fayette.

The WPIAL competitive spirit championships will be broadcast live, with video streaming, on the TribLIVE High School Sports Network.

Bill Hartlep is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bhartlep@tribweb.com.

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