The WesBanco Arena in Wheeling was the place to be on Feb. 4 as cheerleaders from across the Ohio Valley were on hand to compete in the 21st annual OVAC Cheering Competition.
The Silver Knight cheerleaders of Tyler Consolidated were at the top of their form for the competition, bringing home the top prize in the class AAA division over Magnolia, Barnesville, Martins Ferry, Bellaire, Bridgeport, Monroe Central and Shenandoah.
The 2011-2012 OVAC champion Silver Knight cheerleaders are Booke Clegg, Keri Suter, Makayla Clegg, Jessica Fiber, Logann Long, Alex Bubenchik, Shandi Long, Kali Mead, Brook Keys, Sierra Mace, Laken Miller and Megan Wilson.
Head cheerleading coach for the ladies wearing the Silver and Black, Stefanie Suter, said both she and her assistant coach, Laci Strode, were very proud of the young ladies representing Tyler Consolidated on the court that day. "This is a very young squad for the most part, and they truly shined," she said.
The day began with the class A competition, taken by Bishop Donahue over Madonna, Paden City, Conotton Valley and St. Johns. Linsly took the class AA crown competing against Catholic Central, Shadyside, Toronto, and Wheeling Central.
In the class AAAA battle, it was St. Clairsville taking their fifth straight title over squads representing Harrison Central, Union Local, Weir, Oak Glen, Buckeye Local and Edison High Schools.
Brooke was the last OVAC champion crowned at the competition, taking first place in class AAAAA over John Marshall, Parkersburg South, Beaver Local and Wheeling Park.
Five judges and two safety judges scored the squads who performed a three minute open routine that included cheer, dance and tumbling. Partner stunts, pyramids, mounts, knee and seat drops were not permitted to be performed.
Throughout the day, The following 2011 Jr. OVAC Championship squads performed for the large crowd: small middle school champion Tyler Consolidated Middle School; medium middle school champions; Union Local Middle School; large middle school champion: Triadelphia Middle School; and junior varsity champion Wheeling Park High School junior varsity.
As always, the competition at the OVAC was tough and the atmosphere tense.
"We are very glad that this squad has brought the OVAC title back to Tyler Consolidated," coach Suter said.
The last time a Tyler Consolidated cheering squad brought home the OVAC title, the year was 2003, and it was the last in a string of five straight wins.