HERSHEY, Pa. (EYT) – The Clarion-Limestone Cheerleaders took eighth place in their division on Saturday during their first ever trip to the Pennsylvania Competitive Spirit Championships.
(Photo courtesy of Tiffany Miller.)
“I’m very proud of how we did, having never gone before. Our team was just so excited to be there and to have that experience out on that mat,” Coach Tiffany Miller told exploreClarion.com.
The state competition is usually in early February; however, it was pushed back this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as was most of the competitive cheer season.
Although the season normally begins in November, it didn’t start until late January this year. Clarion-Limestone Varsity Cheerleaders won the 2021 co-ed division District 9 championship on February 27, making them eligible for the state competition.
“In District 9, we competed against DuBois and Johnsonburg to get our title to go to the state competition, and DuBois has been to states previously,” Miller noted.
With this competition marking a milestone for the team, the school and community pulled together on Friday to give them a memorable send-off. The cheerleaders and coaches were showered with applause from the C-L students and staff as they boarded the bus at 12:30 p.m.
They were accompanied on their way by local fire trucks, as well as cars filled with other supporters from the community.
“I was not expecting that,” Miller said. “I knew we were having something, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that big!”
Once they got out onto US Route 322, heading east, they were met along with way by more fire trucks and supporters, as well.
“There were cars lined up the whole way, beeping and shouting, with signs and everything.”
Along the way, they also made a short pit-stop a the Sheetz store in Brookville, which donated apples, cookies, and water to the girls for the long trip to Hershey.
Going into Brookville, the Brookville Borough Police and fire trucks also had their sirens activated, Miller added.
“They were so excited all the way, yelling out the windows, waving at the cars, smiling the whole time, and each time we stopped, they would get out and do a quick stunt.”
When they arrived in Hershey, the first thing they did was head to the World Hershey Chocolate Tour.
“They were so excited to get out and do that as a team.”
One special moment was when they finally got to take a particular photo as a team, according to Miller.
“It’s kind of a signature thing (for most teams) to take a stunt picture in front of the Hershey sign, and they couldn’t wait to finally take that picture.”
Arriving at the hotel and meeting the other competitors was also a good experience, Miller noted.
“The cheerleaders and coaches are all so supportive of each other. At the hotel, the other teams were very communicative, and the coaches were so welcoming and helpful. It’s just a very supportive environment.”
On Saturday, Clarion-Limestone competed against nine other teams in the co-ed division, and took eighth place.
“The team’s nerves were high the whole time, but we did well. At that point, it wasn’t as much about winning as having fun just knowing that we made it that far.”
Miller said that being their first time at the state competition, their biggest hope now is to continue to return again in the future.
“Hopefully we can continue the legacy by going again. We may not be co-ed next year, but we can try in another division, and we’d definitely like to go back.”