The Adair County Middle School cheerleaders definitely have something to cheer about—a national championship.
The squad managed to rack up wins all year: first runner-up at KAPOS regionals; first runner-up in the Cupid Classic, first-runner-up in the CANAM regional competition and last but not least an overall win at the National Cheerleaders Association Open Nationals held in Louisville over the weekend.
The squad competed in two different divisions. They finished the preliminary round in first place, three points ahead of the competition. In the final round the team performed a two and a half minute traditional routine to earn the national title and grand champion with their game routine—sweeping both divisions.
The team has been hard at work since April 2012 with the squad, parents and coaches putting in long hours of practice, ballgames and community service through the season and keeping their grades at an outstanding level, said ACMS cheer coach Whitney Stearns.
Stearns thanked high school cheerleaders and coaches Julie McQueary and Jessica VanArsdale for their support and encouragement throughout the season as well as supporters throughout the county.
“This is my first year as head coach for the ACMS cheerleaders and I couldn’t have imagined a better year,” Stearns said. “This past year, I have been blessed with a great group of girls, parents, supporters and a great assistant coach.”
Stearns said it has taken a lot of work to get where they are.
“This being my first year as head coach couldn’t have been more rewarding,” Stearns said. “I have made new friends, great memories and had a cheer season that will never be forgotten. I want to thank everyone who I have worked with this season for being patient with me as a new coach … We couldn’t have reached our goal without them.”
Stearns gave a lot of credit to her assistant coach Korianne Cox.
Squad members include Grace Ann Antle, Leah Brown, Brh Brown, Allie Brummett, Kaylee Burton, Payton Coomer, Katelyn Cowan, Lexi Gist, Chloe Hixson, Elizabeth Jenkins, Stevie Keltner, Abby Myers, Emily Perkins, Payton Phillips, Emily Pyles, Hayley Reynolds, Sydney Slaven, Breann Stephens, Tiana Taylor, Renita VanAresdale, Michaela Walker, Emily Wall, Ch’Dara Wheat and Alayna Willis.
The ACMS squad will perform its nationals routine Friday night during the ACHS cheerleaders’ dinner and auction. The meal will begin at 5 p.m. in the ACHS cafeteria. The auction will start at 6 p.m. Performances will follow.
The fundraiser will help support the ACHS cheerleaders during their trip to the CANAM national competition in South Carolina in March.