locally owned since 1854

MAHS cheerleaders excel at NCA event; five get All-American honors, team earns trip to Houston

Posted 7/31/19

The Middletown Area High School cheerleading squad has been rebuilding over the past couple of years, according to head coach Jessica Welsh.

When she started, there were only nine cheerleaders on …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

MAHS cheerleaders excel at NCA event; five get All-American honors, team earns trip to Houston

Posted

The Middletown Area High School cheerleading squad has been rebuilding over the past couple of years, according to head coach Jessica Welsh.

When she started, there were only nine cheerleaders on the squad. Today, there are 30 cheerleaders on her roster made up of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.

The last two summers, the cheerleaders attended National Cheerleaders Association camps, one at Lake Bryn Mawr in Honesdale, and then July 20-23 at Shippensburg University, where 13 of the 30 squad members went for a four-day, three-night stay with 15 other high school cheerleading squads.

Those who attended the camp with Welsh and assistant coach Michelle Noon were seniors China Williams and Brittany Hall; juniors Tiana Noon, Leonyae Lake, Selena Santos, Trinity Fox and Madalynn Brittelli; sophomores Chloe Cleland, Maya Herneisey, Emma Mitchell and Madison Zettlemoyer; and freshmen Marli Welsh and Charity Cochran.

A typical day at NCA camp is split up into several sessions, Welsh said. The athletes eat breakfast at 7 a.m. and must be at the gym at 8:15 to start their day. There are sessions that include, but are not limited to, cheers, chants, tumbling, stunting, crowd involvement, jumping and overall cheer technique. They get an hour for lunch and an hour for dinner, and they end their cheer day at 9 p.m.

The first evaluation of the MAHS squad resulted in an Excellent Ribbon and a Superior Ribbon, and the second evaluation resulted in two Superior ribbons.

“The scores increased each time they had an evaluation, and they grew together as a team, which is all a coach could ask for,” Welsh said.

Five girls earned All-American nods — Noon, Cochran, Herneisey, Cleland and Lake. These athletes were chosen based on their skills in jumping, dancing and stunting and were eligible to try out for the National All-American Squad.

“This is an amazing honor as the NCA instructors are the only people that can choose who gets a ribbon,” Welsh said.

On the last day of camp, all the teams perform and have the opportunity to earn a bid to the National Cheerleading Association National High School Cheerleading Competition in Houston, in January.

“I am so excited to announce that MAHS cheerleaders received one of those bids,” Welsh said, calling it “unexpected.”

It’s unlikely the team will attend in Houston, however, because the squad is currently classified as a sideline squad by the PIAA and would have to change classification to a competition squad to attend. She said completing everything necessary before the end of the year would be difficult, but the goal is to be a competitive squad in the future.

“All in all, it was a very memorable experience for all who went and a great way to jumpstart our season,” Welsh said. “If you are sitting in the stands at War Memorial Field and hear the cheerleaders, stand up and get involved. Show your Raider Pride by not only supporting the players but the cheerleaders and band as well.”