On Wednesday, the competition cheerleading squad for Elk County Catholic High School headed to Orlando to compete in the National High School Cheerleading Championship, held at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Fla. The squad earned a spot by qualifying at the Allegheny Regional, which was held at Slippery Rock University in December.
Marlene Stubber, head cheerleading coach at ECCHS, said this will be only the second time that the school has been represented in competitive cheerleading at the national level. In 2007, the ECCHS varsity squad competed at nationals in the small varsity division with a team of 12 girls. This year's squad, consisting of 16 cheerleaders and one alternate, will compete in the small varsity division. The preliminaries will be held Saturday morning at the Indiana Jones Theater in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Semifinals and finals will be held Sunday afternoon at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Josten Center.
Stubber, who is in her 10th year coaching and 8th year as head coach, said that while there are other national competitions, the Orlando event is the only national competition sanctioned by the National Federation of High Schools.
"Basically, it's the Super Bowl of high school cheerleading," Stubber said of the competition. "It's like being at the top of your sport. I'm excited because I think that our team is peaking at just the right moment. We've just been getting better and better the last few competitions."