By Marissa Burd
From Hershey to Orlando, Red Lion Coed Competition Cheerleading has had the opportunity to travel up and down the East Coast while doing the thing they’re most passionate about-cheer.
The competition squad originated in 2001, by Angie Masser, an English teacher and cheerleading coach at the high school. Masser has coached football, basketball, and competition cheer for Red Lion.
Coach Masser says the original team only competed at local competitions, nothing outside of Pennsylvania.
“Competition cheer was always really exciting,” says Coach Masser, “We show off what we can do and support each other as cheerleaders.”
For over the last decade, trends and teams have changed throughout the program. “People are more invested in competition teams now more than they once were,” says Masser. “Seeing new things ‘hit’ is exciting.”
The competition team has had many changes over the years. The original team started in the Large Varsity division, and is now qualified as a Small Coed squad.
16 years later, the team has made it as far as Orlando, Florida for the National High School Cheerleading Championship, or NHSCC.
“The team is supportive of each other,” says Ashleigh Reinert, “they keep getting better as teammates.”
Reinert is a cheerleading coach and high school phys. ed. teacher who has been coaching cheer for 11 years.
“We focus on day to day goals,” says Coach Reinert.
One of the team’s goals this year is to repeat last year’s success. Last year, the previous team won counties, districts, and placed second in the state.
As the 2017 season starts, the coed team began with their performance at the Rumble in the Jungle competition, which is located at the high school. Rumble in the Jungle has kicked off the competition season for Red Lion since it was first held in 2014. This specific competition is used to show off each team’s skills in the beginning of the season, like a showcase.
On Nov. 18, the squad competed at counties, which is always held by Dallastown High School, and took first place.
Districts took place on Dec. 9, where RL Coed took second place.
The following day marked Regionals, which took place at Kutztown University. The squad won second place and received a bid to Nationals.
Both of the coaches agree that Nationals has been “an eye opener and a motivator for the team to try even harder.”
“The reason I like cheerleading is because it’s not super easy. It’s much like life,” says Reinert. “You have to work for what you want.”
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