Pine-Richland competitive cheer team places at nationals

Friday, February 15, 2019 | 6:42 PM

The Pine-Richland competitive cheer team put together a number of strong performances at the 2019 UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Fla., surviving the cut to the the final round before collecting 11th place at the annual event.

The solid finish marked a notable improvement for the Rams, who did not make the cut to the finals in last year’s national championship. This year, another round of cuts was added to the medium varsity gameday division, and coach Corey Doyle’s team was able to advance passed both.

“Last year, we didn’t make it past the single cut. This year, there were two and we weren’t even that close to dropping out,” Doyle said. “We were in third place overall after the first round.

“It was exciting for the girls to get back to the finals again. I know they were bummed about not making it last year, so I was happy to see them achieve that.”

With their 11th-place finish, the Rams competitive cheer season officially comes to a close. Along with their solid performance at the national championships, the team also collected fourth place in the small varsity division at the PIAA competitive spirit championships and a pair of first-place finishes in the small varsity division and the gameday medium varsity divison at the UCA Allegheny Regional championship.

By Doyle’s standards, the season can be considered a success, especially considering the trouble the Rams faced out of the gate.

“I think we did really well, overall,” Doyle said. “We had a couple of injuries to start the season, and it kind of threw things into disarray a little bit. But we got through it and figured everything out and did really well as a group throughout the season. Everyone supported each other, stayed focus, and things turned out very well.”

The competition in Orlando also marked the final time that Pine-Richland’s trio of senior captains — Holly Stewart, Ally Czerski and Makenzie Marburger — will don their high school’s attire in a competitive cheer tournament. As is always the case, Doyle said it’s bittersweet to see his seniors depart.

“It’s always sad to see the seniors go, but I know their moving on to their next chapter in life, which is always fun and exciting to see,” he said. “But we’re grateful for what they’ve done for the program and the work they’ve put in.

“We’re going to miss them, but we know they’ll move on to accomplish other things in the next steps.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.


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