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Keystone Cheerleaders honored as PIAA Team Spirit Award Winner

Keystone at Hersyehy - EditedHERSHEY, Pa. – The Keystone Cheerleaders/Competitive Spirit Squad was honored at the PIAA Competitive Spirit Championships as the PIAA Team Spirit Award winner.

“One cheer team is annually selected to receive the PIAA Team Spirit Award,” Keystone cheerleading coach Kami Coursen said. “Any coach, athletic director or administrator in Pennsylvania can nominate their cheerleaders. When selecting the winner, the PIAA considers four categories: a team’s academic achievement, school spirit raising activities, community involvement and fundraising activities.”   

Spirit Award Group 2016Keystone was nominated by their athletic director, Bill Irwin, and the squad was awarded the honor, which included shirts, a plaque and gift certificates from GTM.  

“I couldn’t be more honored to have this team selected for this prestigious award,” Coursen said. “They have proven year after year that they are talented cheerleaders on the competition mat from all of the trophies, titles and banners. But this award is recognition for all the work they do off the mat and, in addition, to our rigorous team commitment. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank every cheer parent for instilling the value of hard work and community involvement because the girls’ positive attitudes towards service are a direct reflection of that.”  

Twenty-two of the 25 members on the team made either the Principal’s List (11) or Honor Roll in the first quarter this year with 20 of 25 making the one of the lists in the second quarter. Six team members are in the top 10 of their classes, while 11 members are in the top 20 of their class.

Currently, six seniors will graduate with a GPA between 93.8 percent and 99.3 percent, and 21 members have a cumulative GPA between 90.2 percent and 100.6 percent while five are National Honor Society members (2 officers) and seven earned top student in their academic  classes at the awards assembly.

There are also two Rotary Youth Leadership Award Recipients while three of the seniors were named Knox Lions Club Student of the Month. Seven members have also been named Clarion County Student of the Week with three being members of the Clarion County Youth Council for their leadership in the classroom.   

In the fundraising category, their most successful venture for Keystone was hosting its their
own competition.  

Always the first Saturday in January, this year was the 16th annual competition and brought over 17 schools and five all-star programs totaling over 300 cheerleaders to the school.  

Taking approximately six months to plan, it involves  advertising, registrations, securing sponsors for program, DJ, UCA and NCA judges and tabulators, reserving facilities, auction items, concession donations and purchases and providing awards.

In addition, the squad also hosts two to three Elementary Cheer Camps throughout the year including a 3-day camp in the summer.

In terms of community activities, the team has been involved in the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics and as volunteers at the event. They also have helped with various fundraisers for Charitable Deeds & Services of Kno, and they participate in our community festival “Horsethief Days” in various events through the week and perform in the festival’s parade.
Playing a vital role in school spirit raising activities, the cheerleaders have the role of planning and providing every aspect of Homecoming while also organizing a variety of spirit-raising rallies
throughout the school year.

The members of the team are as follows:

Seniors – Olivia Bearfield, Maggie Brown, Lexi Callander, Mackenzie Caun, Rebekah Elder, Lindsey Mays and Emily Shawley.

Juniors – Allie Bearfield, Maddi Beichner, Emily Byers, Gwen Greenawalt, Maddy Harle, Bri Hilbert, Taylor Hoffman, Abby Kersey, Rachel Keth, Casey Mullooly and Jenna Zacherl.

Sophomores: Katie Brown, Macy Defelice, Jadyn Forsythe and Becca Smith.

Freshmen: Bailey Harle, Alesha Lee and Kami Smith.  

Coaches: Kami Coursen (22nd year) and  Sarah Kahle

Long-distance Coaches: Travis Mukina and Chase Harmon.