Pine-Richland competitive cheer takes 1st at WPIAL spirit championships

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Sunday, January 12, 2020 | 9:33 AM


In the run-up to the 2019 WPIAL competitive spirit championships, several members of Pine-Richland’s team were stricken with the flu, causing practice time to be limited as the bug spread between a number of teammates.

Yet when it came time to perform at the WPIAL title event Jan. 4 at Hempfield High School, the Rams rose to the occasion and won WPIAL gold, finishing first in the small-squad competition and second overall in Class AAA.

“It was really exciting. They did really well, especially given all the sickness we’ve had lately and the flu going around,” coach Corey Doyle said. “We had to cancel another competition because of everybody being sick, and we couldn’t really practice until just a few days before the meet. We even had a couple of girls that were sick during the actual championship meet.

“But we did get together to clean up some details in the days before the meet, and I think it really showed up on the mat. The girls really just came through and did a great job with everything — our stunts, pyramids, tumbling. It was a great performance.”

The WPIAL championship marks the program’s first since 2014, Doyle said. Finishing behind first-place Pine-Richland in the small-squad division was South Fayette in second and South Park in third.

Baldwin outscored the Rams in the overall standings.

With WPIALs behind it, Doyle’s team turned its attention to the PIAA championships scheduled for Jan. 10-11 at Giant Center in Hershey. And while it marks the Rams’ eighth straight appearance in the PIAA competitive spirit finals, they appear to be particularly fired up for this go-around.

“We practiced (Jan. 6), and the girls were really excited. They came in motivated, and they’re ready to work hard. WPIALs definitely built up their confidence,” Doyle said.

“I think with all the sickness and not being able to compete for a while, being able to perform out on the floor was huge, and to get that type of finish, it was a big confidence booster.”

The Pine-Richland competitive cheer team consists of Abby Casario, Emma Coleman, Sarah Vigna, Morgan Roupe, Jacqueline Gill, Amanda Marburger, Morgan Gierl, Taylor McWhirter, Sam Nudi, Abby Dewick, Kate Kwasnick, Emily Campbell and Caitlyn Abbate.

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