Local cheerleaders shine in regional competition

| 08 Jan 2014 | 12:07

The Sparta Spartans Snowball Cheerleading Competition took place on Sunday, Jan. 5 at Sparta High School. Teams from high schools, as well as youth and recreation organizations in the tri-state area participated in the event.

The cheer teams participating were the Delaware Valley Regional High School varsity, junior varsity and Senior Rec.; the West Milford Youth Rec. and Senior Rec.; High Point Regional High School varsity; Flemington Pioneers Senior Rec.; Minisink High School varsity; Secaucus High School varsity; Parsippany Hills High School; and Kittatinny Regional High School varsity.

The Sparta High School cheerleaders were not allowed to compete in the Snowball Cheerleading Competition as a host schools cheer team is eneligable to participate to safeguard against favoritism, but they put on a rousing exhibition in addition to the competition. The Sparta Spartans cheerleaders have earned a trip to the 2014 National High School Cheerleading Championship (NHSCC) — the most prestigious cheerleading championship in the country — to be held Feb. 8 and 9 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. and nationally televised on ESPN.

Some of the team members attended last year’s NHSCC in the Super Varsity Co-ed division and were ranked 18th in the nation. The Sparta Spartans Snowball Cheerleading Competition is an inaugural event which helps raise funds to support the trip to the NHSCC.

"The girls (Sparta Spartans cheerleaders) have worked very hard to get to where they are," Sparta High Schools head cheerleading coach Michelle Hertzberg said. "Everyone is excited to get the chance to compete at the National High School Cheerleading Championship. Our team will be competing on a grand stage. Some will be able to take the experience into college and beyond. Many of the colleges and university's offer scholarships for cheerleading."

“Through competitions, cheerleaders have the opportunity to show how athletic and competitive this sport is,” she added.

Sunday's competition was judged by the the Universal Cheerleaders Association. Fans enjoyed several hours of amazing acrobatics and athletic skill performances as they munched on snacks and drank refreshments supplied by the Sparta High School Cheerleading Booster Club. Cheer teams and individuals were judged in several categories based on originality, team work, complexity of routine and precision.

Kittatinny Regional High School earned top honors by winning first place trophy's in the Varsity Small and Varsity Game Day categories.