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High School Cheerleading:
Spirited Competition at Olympic Conference Championship

Sunday, February 13, 2000

By Terry McGroarty
SJSports Special Correspondent

Cheerleading teams from South Jersey area high schools came together on Sunday for the Olympic Conference Cheerleading Championship. The competition was held at Gloucester County's Washington Township High School. The Overall Championship award for the highest scoring went to Township's varsity squad, as well as 1st place in the American Division of the Olympic Conference. Second place in overall high scoring for the competition went to the Bishop Eustace Crusaders, and Eastern's Vikings took third place. The final division standings are posted below.

The routines were very well choreographed and the stunts, cheering and stunting held the attention of the crowd. A few of the teams found the acoustics in the gym made it difficult to hear the music for their routines, but they presented polished routines, nonetheless.

Overall, the cheerleading teams strive to make their coaches proud of them. It is a shame that Cheerleading competitions don't get more coverage. These athletes are no less disciplined than ball players, hockey players or track runners. The intensity of the routines demand aerobic stamina and strength training.

The primary purpose of developing a Cheerleading team is to lead the fans in the spirit of good sportsmanship, and support of the home team from the sidelines of the court or field. The recognition from formal competitions is the only forum when the squads get to be front and center as the main attraction and show off their talents and skills. It would be nice to see the same kind of support and recognition from the sports teams they cheer for and the fans they lead.

Olympic Conference Final Standings

American Division
Washington Township High School - First Place
Eastern High School - Second Place
Shawnee High School - Third Place
Lenape High School - did not place

Patriot Division
Triton High School - First Place
Highland High School - Second Place
Overbrook High School - Third Place

National Division
Bishop Eustace Prep - First Place and the only school in their division.

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