South Caroline cheer team wins National Championship
By DUSTIN HOLT firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESTON — Adding to the proud lineage of an area known for state championships, marching band titles and a Little League World Series berth, the South Caroline Mustangs 12u Red cheer squad captured the 2016 AYC National Championship in Florida on Dec. 10.
Coached by Jennifer Holmes and Heather Jessee, the 12u Mustangs earned a berth at the AYC National Cheer Competition by finishing third at regionals in Trenton, N.J. The squad then traveled to Orlando, Fla., to compete in Nationals.
After the competition when judges announced the results, tears flowed from the squad as they raced on stage to accept the title.
“We were in total shock. We were all in tears,” Holmes said. “We almost didn’t know what to do at first. We had to hear it twice before we could believe it. We are just so proud of all of the girls. They worked so hard for this. They earned it.”
Holmes and Jessee have been coaching together for nine years. They also coach the Bayside Elite squad, a team that also earned a berth at Nationals, and the Colonel Richardson High School cheer team, which has performed at a Washington Wizards game and Naval Academy football game.
“Winning the national championship is such a great accomplishment for the team,” Jessee said. “It is our dream to help these kids get to this point.
“We knew the girls did really well during the competition, but you have to wait and see how all the points come together. It was quite a moment to hear the judges call us up as National Champions.
“We wanted the girls to enjoy the moment of being at Nationals, regardless of the outcome. They really embraced the moment. To see all the hard work they put in and to get rewarded means a lot to us.”
The Bayside Elite squad coached by Holmes and Jessee finished fifth at Nationals. The team is
made up of girls from Caroline, Talbot and Kent counties.
South Caroline Mustangs 14u White team, coached by Colonel Richardson High School graduate Cleonda Thompson and Kim Cutchin, also earned a berth at Nationals by winning regionals. The 14u squad took fifth place at Nationals.
“The 14u and the Bayside Elite teams did an incredible job at Nationals,” Holmes said. “We are so proud of them. We can’t wait to go back with all of them next year. Thank you to the community and everyone who have sponsored us, that helped make this happen for the teams.”
The South Caroline Mustangs have received donations from Tri-Gas and Oil, H&M Bay Inc., CW Transport, RJ Electric, Higginbottom Orthodontics, Jeff’s Service Center, Win Transport and Dr. Gordon DDS. Preston Automotive is a cheer program sponsor for the year.
The South Caroline Mustangs 12u Red cheer squad won the National Championship in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 10 at the AYC National Cheer Competition. PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT
The South Caroline Mustangs 12U team earned a berth at Nationals by finishing third at the Big East Regional Competition in Trenton, N.J. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS
The Bayside Elite Cheer Team recently earned a berth at the AYC National Cheer Competition. The team is made up of girls from Caroline, Talbot and Kent counties.
South Caroline Mustangs 14U team earned a berth at Nationals by finishing first at the Big East Regional Competition in Trenton, N.J.