Sherando wins district cheer title

Posted: October 24, 2012

Special to The Winchester Star

Members of the Sherando High School competition cheer team perform at the Northwestern District tournament at James Wood High School Tuesday night. The Warriors won the district championship. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
James Wood High School’s competition cheer team edged out Skyline for runner-up honors at the Northwestern District tournament Tuesday night. The Colonels earned the district’s other regional berth by taking second place. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — Sherando’s cheerleading team proved Tuesday at the Northwestern District Cheerleading Tournament that their first regular season district title was no fluke, crushing the rest of the field with 227 points to take the tournament championship as well.

“I’m really happy about the win tonight,” said Warrior coach Tom Grim. “This is the first time we’ve been the district [regular season and tournament] champions heading into the regional tournament. Although we’ve been to the state six straight years, it’s really tough to get out of our region. To make it six times is an amazing feat, but we still won’t be completely satisfied unless with can make it our seventh trip this year.”

The victory was particularly sweet for Sherando. Despite qualifying for the last six state tournaments, and one top five finish at state, this was only the second district tournament title for the Warriors.

“We’ve always seemed to be snake-bitten by one bad performance at a key meet each year,” Grim said. “That’s what has cost us district championships in the past. This year our goal was to work very hard to not let that happen. To do that we knew that we would have to perform at a high level at every event we competed at. We’ve done that this year.”

Winning district regular season and tournament titles, however, will never be considered a successful season for the driven Sherando team.

“We’re very excited about being both the regular season and tournament champions,” said Sherando senior Loganne Strosnider. “I can’t wait to get to regionals and compete. We’ve grown together as a team over the season and the competition that we’ve faced.

“Tonight we just came together and did our jobs. I believe that we can get a lot better though, and we need to. This meet was never our ultimate goal. We’ve been focused on getting to the state and winning there since the beginning of the season.”

Although the Warriors, with their regular season title, had an automatic berth in the Region II Tournament at John Champe High School in Loudoun County on Nov. 3, the other berth was up for grabs and the competition was fierce.

All of the performances by the remaining four teams were extremely close and it took the judges 30 minutes to tally the scores and determine the places for each team.

Host team James Wood was able to overcome the stiff competition to finish the tournament with 209.5 points to edge Skyline (200.5) for second place and take the other berth at the regional meet.

“We are so excited to qualify for the Region II meet,” said Colonel coach Tracy Copley. “Our girls went out there and performed exactly the way we taught them in practice. I really think it was our best performance of the year.

“We practice two-and-a-half hours every day and we work hard at being consistent. Consistency was the key to our season and particularly our success tonight.”

Despite fielding a very young team, Millbrook finished just behind the Hawks for fourth place with a score of 178.

“I thought that we had an amazing season,” Millbrook coach Marcella Simmons said. “We lost a lot of seniors from last year’s team, so it’s really been a rebuilding year for us.

“Our girls have accepted that and come to practice ready to go, and given their best effort. I’m very happy with this season. I thought the girls did a great job.”

Handley was fifth with 158 points.

“I’m really proud of my girls,” Handley coach Dani Hess said. “They’ve come a long way this season. They’ve really worked hard and I think they’ve done really well this year.”