The WesBanco Arena in Wheeling was filled with excitement on Feb. 1 as high school cheerleaders gathered for the annual OVAC Cheerleading competition. Thirty-one participating schools were broken down into five divisions, vying for titles in each of their respective classes: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, and 5A.
Both local squads, Tyler Consolidated and Paden City, participated at the competition, with the Knights taking runner-up honors in the 3A division and Paden City as runners-up in the 1A division.
Paden City placed second behind Bishop Donahue and ahead of Madonna; while Consolidated finished behind first place Linsly, and ahead of third place Bellaire.
OVAC 3A Runners-up
Though second place in any competition is a great achievement, neither squad was satisfied with the outcome.
"We were sure we were going to get our 10th OVAC title," said Stefanie Suter, head coach of the Silver Knight squad. "Our girls were successful though. They didn't bring the title home, but they performed their routine flawlessly. That is success in my book."
"With all of the snow days and cancellations, these girls only had a few days to get their routine polished and ready, and they did it. They are a very hard working group of young ladies. It's unfortunate that their hard work wasn't acknowledged with a well deserved 1st place finish, but sometimes that's how life is."
"My girls have worked really hard to prepare for OVAC's," said Paden City Head Coach Kim Hizer. "We were getting worried with all the school cancellations and missed practices. Everything just seemed to click for us within the last couple of days. We moved up a spot from last year when we finished third."
"I was extremely proud of their performance. It was the best I'd seen them do. We may have taken second place, but they are first in my heart."
Representing Tyler Consolidated at the competition were: Brooklyn Pittman, Megan Miller, Shayla Griffey, Taylor Vandruff, Devann McCoy, Tessa Boyd, Seminole Weekley, Alexis Jenkins, Jayme Jeffers, Kaitlyn Seckman, Brooke Keys, Sydney Glover, Laken Miller, Sierra Mace, Megan Wilson, Kali Mead, and Alex Bubenchick.
Members of the Wildcat squad included: Cydney Blatt, Abbi Still, Kayla Hizer, Kallie Arnett, Tori Anderson, Cierra Yoho, Hannah Stanley, Kayla Kline, Desirae Heasley, and Rachel Loy.