By Allie Burd
In December, the Red Lion Competitive Cheer Squad made their dream come true by receiving a bid to nationals at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
They competed with schools from all over the US for the grand, national title at Walt Disney World Theme Park.
“The entire theme of our season has been about taking it to the next level, we were competitive at states, regionals, and now we’re ready for nationals,” cheer coach Ashleigh Reinert said.
The Squad left for Florida early morning on Feb 5, then headed to the All Star Sports Resort in Disney the next day for practices in preparation for performing on Saturday in front of thousands.
Senior Bradley Irizarry says, “At first we were really nervous and had no idea what to expect. It was really overwhelming but we knew we had to stay focused.”
Junior Mariah Linden said, “We all tried to stay positive, we were all really excited but so nervous.”
Out of fifty teams in their coed division, Red Lion placed 11th in the nation.
Coach Reinert said, “They kept their cool and just performed and did a great job. What’s so great about competition is that it’s just two minutes and thirty seconds of giving everything you’ve got. No timeouts, no substitutions, no redos.”
Irizarry says, “I’m so proud of what we earned. 11th in the nation is amazing, and the score we got was our personal best.”
Senior Emily Hylind said, “11th is awesome but it’s so much more than that. We had to beat teams to get to nationals too, and we worked so hard.”
Overall, the squad was very happy with the way their routine was performed.
Senior Johnnie Tamny said, “It was the best we’ve ever performed and everyone definitely tried their hardest.”
Linden also said, “Everyone was so excited to be at nationals. It was our last competition so everyone put everything they had into the routine.”
A lot of preparation and dedication was needed to not only receive the bid to nationals, but to improve their routine in order to receive this score against the coed teams competing in Florida.
“We didn’t know this when we started, but UCA has very strict guidelines on guy to girl ratio. If you have eight guys then you can’t have over thirty people--we had thirty-four people. We unfortunately had to drop down four people in order to compete, which was awful to do,” Reinert said.
The squad also made changes to different parts of their routine.
“We changed the opening tumbling so we’d have more group tumbling and standing tumbling, we also changed the ending pyramid to be more clean and ‘showy’. However, we kept all the coed stunts so we could still get a lot of points.”
Coach Reinert finished off by saying, “I am so proud of this team. Honestly, making it to this level was a huge accomplishment. We were hoping for a great performance and that’s exactly what we got. Their whole goal was to take Red Lion Cheerleading to the next level- and that’s exactly what they did.”
By Allie Burd
The Red Lion Competition Cheerleading (RLC) squad is back, and ready to conquer bigger and better things.
Last season, the cheerleading squad was able to attend county champoinships at Dallastown High School and take home the 2013 County Champions title in the Co-ed Division. In Sept. 2014, Red Lion High received their very first yellow Competition Cheerleading banner for the Fitzkee gym.
In addition to the accomplishment at counties, last year RLC qualified for states in Hershey, and were able to take home 5th place out of 15 co-ed squads.
The squad is coming back this year with an even bigger goal- to qualify for nationals.
To qualify, RLC will be competing on Dec. 6 in Kutztown, Pa. If they qualify, they will have the opportunity in February to go to Disney World in Orlando, Florida to compete with schools from all over the US for that grand, national title.
That following afternoon, Red Lion will travel back to Dallastown to try for the 2014 title of county champions. “It would be really awesome to win counties again and put 2014 on our banner as well.” RLC Coach Ms. Ashleigh Reinert said.
To top that, the squad is also hoping to qualify for districts in Hershey at the end of January yet again, with hopes that they can place even better than they did last year.
This season, the squad will be using instructors from the Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA) to create their routine. “UCA will know how to max out the score sheet and play to our strengths.” Ms. Reinert said.
UCA judges all high school competitions including districts, and hosts cheer camps that the cheerleaders attend annually. Having a UCA based routine will be very beneficial for the squad.
On top of the squad having a newly based routine, Johnnie Tamny, four year RLC competition cheerleader says, “This year, everyone will be used to the best of their ability. The squad will have stronger tumbling, jumping, dancing, and flyers.”
“The squad and I are very excited for this season, I think we’re going to be a very strong team,” said Ms. Reinert. “Coming off of a good year, everybody is pumped to get back into it.”
By Ben Otte
The Red Lion Competitive Spirit squad tumbled, flipped and danced their way to a fifth place award in state level competition in January.
They didn’t arrive there without a fight, one that brought back memories of last year’s disappointing result.
Just a year ago, in 2013’s district level competition, the team was guaranteed a spot at the state competition. But then head coach Ashleigh Reinert was informed her team wouldn’t continue their season at states because of a scoring error that was made with another team in their bracket.
The error put the other team ahead, kicking Red Lion out of state tournament.
This year it was a similar story but on a bigger stage.
Flash forward one year to the first round of the 2014 PIAA state competition at the Giant Center in Hershey on Jan. 24. This time, scorers made a mistake, but it was in Red Lion’s favor. The team received three-point time deduction, just enough to kick them out of finals.
It was then when head coach Ashleigh Reinert realized though that the deduction that was made was not valid. “I just thought for a moment and realized the rule didn’t make any sense. I asked them to show the rule to me then.”
As it turns out, state competition has no time limit rule.
The three point addition put the team back in the running by guaranteeing a second trip to the championship round to Chocolate Town.
Red Lion entered the final championship round as the sixth squad behind New Oxford, Methacton, McDowell, Central Dauphin and St. Mary’s. None of the other previously qualified teams were eliminated from the final round when the scoring error was discovered.
The trip itself was an accomplishment for Reinert. “I wanted them to them to have a good performance the second time around. We were making history for just being there. I was going to be proud no matter what.”
Cheerleading powerhouse New Oxford took control of the competition right away locking in scores that pushed the squad ahead to first place with 79.53 points. Methacton was awarded second while McDowell got third place followed by Central Dauphin. Red Lion was awarded fifth place.
“It’s an accomplishment in itself to be ranked so high,” senior cheerleader Whitney Johnson said. “This team has been thrnough a lot and I’m just so happy to be a part of it all.”
The state rank the squad earned wasn’t their final achievement of the season. To close it off, the squad earned first place at the Reach the Beach National Championships in Ocean City, MD on Feb. 22.
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