River Cities Rebels win second straight national championship

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 31, 2003

Get out the tape measure. Some local girls are getting fitted for another white satin jacket.

The River Cities Rebels, based out of Hurricane, W.Va., won their second straight All-Stars National Championship in the Senior Division during competition held March 14-17 in Orlando, Fla.

The team of Adriane Hurley, Shay Hannon, Randi Hensley and Megan Crockrel of Ironton, and Kaitlin Moore of South Point outperformed 21 teams from all across the United States.

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"This year we didn't expect it because we had a few mistakes. We were expecting top five. It was better not expecting," Hurley said. "We're very nervous, but we do things to calm each other down.

In an effort to keep the squad from getting too nervous, the girls listen to music and engage in other activities.

Hensley is the senior veteran of the team with nine years of experience. Hurley is next with eight years on the travel squad and Hannon joins Hurley as the only seniors on the squad.

Hurley is hoping to use the championship competition as a springboard toward a college career. She plans to tryout for the Ohio State cheerleading squad this weekend.

"It was good going out winning, but it was sad because I've done it for eight years. It should help me (at the tryouts) because of the experiences I've had," Hurley said.

Mallory Hurley, a freshman at Ironton and Adriane's sister, competed in the Senior Co-Ed Division and her team finished fifth in the nation.

Morgan Weisgarber, a third grade student at Whitwell Elementary in Ironton, competed in the Pee Wee Division and her squad turned in a strong third place finish.

The squads are coached by Hank Light and Beth Farley. All practices are held at River Cities Gymnastics Gym in Hurricane, W.Va. The girls practice between two to four times a week, 11 months of the year.

The girls also compete in various competitions throughout the year in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia in preparation for the ultimate competition in Orlando.