Cheering the champions

CONNORVILLE?– The Buckeye 8 cheerleading competition is in its fifth year, and since year one when Indian Creek took the crown, it has been all St. Clairsville.

The Red Devils’ squads repeated in both divisions as they dominated the floor winning top honors in both junior and senior high school divisions Sunday.

The popular event moved to Buckeye Local High School and it was standing room only as fans packed the Panthers’ gymnasium to cheer on their respective school’s squad.

All Buckeye 8 high schools, with the exception of Bellaire, were expected to be represented in the event this year but Indian Creek was a late scratch, leaving just six teams in the varsity competition.

After all the squads performed their routines for the panel of guest judges, the teams gathered on the floor to await their decision.

In the junior high division, Harrison Central the third-place plaque, Buckeye Local was runner-up before the announcement that the Red Devils won the 2012 trophy.

Martins Ferry finished in third place and the Panthers varsity celebrated a second-place finish for coach Linda Piergallini’s Buckeye Local squad.

That left little doubt that St. Clairsville would win its fourth consecutive title in the competition. There was still a nervous anticipation on the floor as the Reds Devils awaited the judges’ final decision. The Red Devils celebrated with their coach Shawn Tomlan.

“It feels great to win our fourth consecutive title,” said St.?C. coach Shawn Tomlan. “The talent gets better each year.”

“We can now take a short break to rest our injuries before we start preparing for the OVAC competition,” added Tomlan.

Lori Roberts, in her second year as director of the Buckeye 8 cheering competition, said the move to Buckeye Local and change from Saturday to Sunday for the event went well.

“We had a great turn out again and we appreciate all of the fans coming out to cheer on the girls, they all work so hard to be here,” she added.

“It is a very hectic day, but other than the late cancellation we had from Indian Creek I would say everything went well, ” Roberts said adding once again that the vent is a group effort.

“There are so many people who helped make this Buckeye 8 cheering competition a success, it is a lot of hard work and I would like to send a special thanks to everyone who helped this year,” Roberts added. “Special thanks to Buckeye Local for hosting, all of the workers, advertisers, judges and especially the volunteers helping today.”

The cheerleading squads now will turn their attention to the upcoming OVAC Championships. The event is scheduled for Sat, Feb 2 at 9:30 AM in Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena.

Front row (L to R): Matti Young, Sarah Zink, Kylee Laurine, Meggan Burnett, Claire Slavik, Ayla Stewart, Dana Bernard, Dakota Woodford

back row (L to R): Sam Collins, Laura Bernard, Kaylie Kindler, Caitlin Wolfe, Alli Greenwood, Abby Earliwine, Coach Shawn Tomlan