Cheerleading competition held in Ona
ONA -- It was all about spirit, smiles and having a good time at the Tri-State Youth Football League Cheerleading Competition on Saturday at Cabell Midland High School.
At least 450 girls on 57 teams from the 16-league organization took to the floor to show their stuff in the annual competition, which is organized by T.S.Y.F.L. during the last week of the league's regular football season, said Stephanie Ward, executive assistant for the league.
While the goals of each squad member might be to go home with the big trophy, Ward said her primary focus is making sure all of the cheerleaders enjoy themselves.
"All year the girls cheer for the football teams as they battle to make it to the Turf Bowl, and, in that way, this event is like the cheerleaders' Turf Bowl where they get to show off what they have learned all season," Ward said. "It's fun for the kids, but you do have to be careful because adults can become very competitive during these events. We make sure we stress to everyone that our ultimate goal in all of this is for these kids to come here and have fun no matter if they win or lose."
Kristy Ellison and her Vinson Youth League cheerleaders did find themselves having a slightly extraordinary day after the league's B and C Teams each placed first in two categories, and the C Team eventually took the Grand Champion title in the small division competition early in the day.
"It's important to make sure the kids are having fun and learning about sportsmanship," said Ellison, the cheerleading coordinator for the Vinson league. "While I'm thrilled that they won, they knew coming in here that it wasn't the most important thing, and they did their best knowing that."