Cheering to the top
Published 12:00 am Monday, November 28, 2022
Win at regional means national competition for Fairland
ROME TOWNSHIP — A first place win at a regional competition earlier this month is leading to the second national competition this decade for Fairland High School’s cheerleaders.
The team competed on Nov. 19 in the Universal Cheerleaders Association Bluegrass Regional competition in Lexington, Kentucky and came out on top in the Small Varsity Game Division.
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“It’s a big accomplishment,” Trish Adkins, who coached the cheerleaders last year, said, noting that it is the first time in school’s history that the team came in first.
The competition featured 250 teams from across the region.
This year, the school’s cheerleaders are being coached by Abbi Stitt, a Fairland graduate and Morehead State University cheerleader, and Carrie Zeberer, a fellow graduate who was a cheerleader at Marshall University.
Fairland will now compete in the ESPN UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida on Feb. 10.
“It’s a bid-only event,” Adkins said. “They give you a certain score to get a bid.”
The last time Fairland took part in the national competition was 2020, when the team was coached by Shawna Leep, a teacher at Fairland West Elementary School.
Adkins’ daughter, Kaci, and Ryan Henry were freshmen on that team. They are now seniors and captains of this year’s team.
The national competition will feature 35 teams from across the U.S., taking part in semifinals and finals.
As the team prepares for the trip and the big event, they will be organizing fundraisers, including a gift-wrapping event at the Huntington Mall and a mini cheer camp.
Adkins said that anyone interested in making a donation can also contact the school.