PENDLETON — The Pendleton Heights High School varsity cheerleading team is no stranger to the National High School Cheer Championship.
Going into this year’s competition, the PHHS cheerleaders have four consecutive top-five finishes at the prestigious event. The cheerleading team will try to keep its streak alive by competing in the 2014 National High School Cheer Championship this weekend at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Pendleton Heights takes to the mat at 11:51 a.m. Saturday in the Small Varsity Division 1 preliminaries. If the group scores well in round one, the team will advance to the semifinals and then on to the championship finals Sunday. The cheerleading championship will be telecast live on ESPN. Pendleton Heights High School cheer coach Brenda Jamerson says that no matter where her team finishes, she is proud of them just the same.
“As a cheer coach we set our expectations for our athletes from the first day of practice and set our goals,” Jamerson said. “We began our season by attending the top competitive camp in the country so they could receive the best instruction possible. We pushed through the summer and fall, increasing our skill set at each competition. Our girls are required to perform their skills while cheering at all games as well. This particular group of girls is extremely close and extremely focused. They support each other in the gym, on the field, on the mat, and outside of cheer.”
During the 2013 cheerleading competition season, Pendleton Heights took home first-place honors at the Indiana State Fair, Madison County 4-H Fair, Purdue Get on Track, Indiana State Cheer Championship and Indiana State Stunt Group Championship. The cheer team placed second at the Universal Cheerleader Association Hoosier Regional competition in November, to advance to the National High School Cheer Championship. In addition, Pendleton Heights senior Malarie Slagle was selected to the 12-member Indiana All-State Cheer team. Slagle has been involved with cheerleading for the past four years and will attend Anderson University next fall to study chemistry.