Cheerleaders again among the best in nation

Published 9:02 am Thursday, February 18, 2016

Second place never felt so good.

The Davie High School competition cheerleading team was young – especially the boys. Capturing a national championship would be a reach. Even making it to the finals would be an accomplishment.

Competing against 21 other teams in the medium coed division at the National Cheerleading Championships earlier this month in Orlando, Fla., the team finished second.

“You could ask any kid on the team and they would say that second place never felt so good,” said Angie Stage, who coached the team along with Amy Barnette-Vetter and Drew Yoder.

“In the finals, it was a zero deduction routine, which means the skills were performed perfectly. The team was super relaxed going in to finals and very calm during warm ups.”

They weren’t through.

The final day of the competition was the World School Championships, a title Davie has won in various coed divisions for five consecutive years. It includes teams from around the world, and the only U.S. teams allowed are ones that placed in the top 10 in nationals or in the top three at the world championship the previous year.

The coaches were somewhat worried. The venue had problems. It was cold and raining. The athletes didn’t have time to properly warm up.

“It was not our best performance of the weekend,” said Stage. “We were prepeared for a second or third … but at 12:45 in the morning, when they called our name as the winning team, it could not have been any sweeter.”

The 25-member team worked hard, practicing five days a week in the months preceding the competition. Team members include: Andrew Davidson, Bren Collins, Jacob Miller, Matt Allen, Michael Sparks, Nick Gonella, Stephen Bacon, Abby Shaver, Carli Allen, Carly Thompson, Catherine Whitley, Chely Peoples, Ciera Slater, Haley McCulloh, Hannah Earle, Julia Vaughn-Jones, Julie Miller, Katie Hill, Kelsy Miller, Kiley Childress, Kristina Lakey, Lindsay Bowles, Maddi Meade, Maddie Oakes, Payton Cartner, Sabrina Williams and Sydney Rusher.

“We’ve come a long way … a Cinderella team with humble beginnings,” Stage said. “We have a strong tradition in Davie County for excellence in cheerleading, but every season the team that takes the floor starts from scratch. They have to earn it. This team surpassed our expectations as a coaching staff.”