By Mark Carpenter –
On Saturday, Nov. 11, Manchester High School was host to the 2017 Manchester Cheer Championships, with 13 different high school and junior high squads competing for the title before a large and boisterous crowd of supporters.
The Nov. 11 Cheer Championships involved squads from the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, but the competition is non-affiliated with the SHAC, and organized mainly by all of the various cheerleading coaches.
This year’s competition included varsity cheer squads from Eastern Brown, Lynchburg, Manchester, North Adams, Peebles, West Union, and Ripley. Junior High squads on hand included Eastern Brown, Lynchburg, Manchester, North Adams, West Union, and Peebles.
For the past five years at the varsity level, the championship trophy has belonged to West Union, but that string was broken last weekend when Coach Sally Anderson and her North Adams varsity cheerleaders continued their impressive year of competitions and captured first place in the Varsity Championship.
The runner-up trophy in the varsity division went to Manchester, while defending champion West Union placed third.
One of the highlights of the varsity competition came from the Peebles squad. In the midst of their routine, a technical difficulty caused their music to stop but the girls continued right on without skipping a beat, earning a serious dose of respect from all those in attendance.
In the Junior High competition, the order of results turned out exactly the same- North Adams taking first place, Manchester taking second place, and West Union claiming third.
Besides the team competitions, individual contests were also held for the best tumbler, toe touch, and hurdler. Adams County winners in those events included Sophia Paul and Melanie Thatcher of Manchester, Alaina Harover of West Union, Alana White from North Adams, and Holly Niswander from Peebles.
The competitions were judged by officials of the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), the organization that hosts the national and collegiate cheer championship every year at Disney World in Florida.
Since the competition was held on Veterans Day, the competition began with a salute to all the veterans in attendance and an acappella version of the National Anthem by Joel Hanson.