By Paul Adkins Sports Editor
January 23, 2014
Three words could best describe the Cheeriffic All-Stars.
Those words held true in still another competition as the Logan-based youth all-star cheerleading troop took part in the third leg of its six-event 2013-14 cheer season with a stellar showing at last weekend’s JAMfest Super Nationals at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Ind.
Cheeriffic took three cheer squads to the two-day competition, which attracted more than 500 teams and thousands of fans from 21 states across the Midwest, the Great Lakes, the Mid-Atlantic, the South, the Northeast, the West and the Plains.
Teams converged on Indy from places as far away as Ontario (Canada), California and Florida.
For the local girls, it was another successful showing for Cheeriffic as it won two first places and also brought home a second place in one of the largest all-star youth cheerleading competitions in the nation.
The Cheeriffic Junior Level 3 team took first place in its 11-team division, beating out squads from Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana. Cheeriffic finished with 91.53 points, winning by 0.49 points over the Cheer and Dance Galaxy Ice team of Hickory Hills, Ill., which was a close second place with 91.04 points. Two other teams were less than a point behind.
The Cheeriffic Youth Level 2 team was also crowned champions of the Super Nationals with a first-place showing in its 11-team division, knocking off squads from the states of Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana and Wisconsin. Cheeriffic easily beat out the CIA Agents Glitter team from Cincinnati, Ohio, with 89.27 points to the Buckeye State team’s 86.75 — a margin of 2.52 points.
Cheeriffic’s youngest team, the Minis, were a close second in the Level 1 Mini division, which consisted of eight teams. The locals finished with 87.94 points — just 0.94 points behind the first-place Cheer Tyme All-Stars Storm team of Decatur, Ga. In the division were squads from Iowa, Indiana and Georgia.
Teams from Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, California, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Florida, New York, Maryland and also Canada took part in the Indianapolis event.
It’s been another successful season so far for the Cheeriffic All-Stars, which are coached by Heather Bryant and Brittney Hartman.
Cheeriffic’s Junior Level 3 team has earned three first-place finishes so far this season, also winning championships in Columbus, Ohio and Gatlinburg, Tenn. The team was Grand Champions in all of Level 3 in both Columbus and Gatlinburg.
The Cheeriffic Youth Level 2 team also has a third-place finish in Columbus and a first-place showing in Tennessee. The team won a Grand Championship in Level 2 in Gatlinburg back in December.
The Mini 1 team earlier in the season took second in Columbus and first in Tennessee. The squad trailed by 1.54 points after Saturday’s competition and pulled to within less than a point after Sunday’s action.
All three of the Cheeriffic squads have already received paid bids to the U.S. Finals, set for May 3-4 in Virginia Beach, Va.
Bryant said the Super Nationals represent one of the toughest competitions in the world of all-star youth cheerleading.
“I refer to Super Nationals as the Super Bowl of cheerleading,” Bryant said. “This competition consists of the best of the best and to come home with two first places and one second place takes my breath away. My words can’t express how thankful I am to the Cheeriffic family for their dedication.”
Bryant said her squads have worked very hard on their routines and have sacrificed so much to get to where they are. The teams routinely practice on Friday, Saturday and Sunday most weekends and also work on gymnastics at various times during the week.
“These are the hardest working girls I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,” Bryant said. “I feel very blessed to have Brittney Hartman as a coach. She always pushes these girls to be the best they can be. I want to thank my mother for insisting on teaching these girls about how good our God is and how nothing is impossible for Him. I’m looking forward to seeing these amazing girls perform again.”
Hartman said the Indianapolis event was the largest cheerleading competition Cheeriffic has yet to compete in, and that includes last year’s UCA Internationals in Orlando, Fla., where Cheeriffic squads won first, second, third and fourth in a cheer event which attracted more than 400 teams from the U.S., Canada and other foreign lands as far away as South Korea, Japan and Germany.
Around 550 teams took part at Indy.
“The Lord has blessed us with even more accomplishments. He makes all of our successes possible,” Hartman said. “This is the biggest competition we’ve competed at yet. The level of talent at Super Nationals is breathtakingly incredible. I am so proud of these girls. It’s an honor to be their coach. With each competition they amaze me even more.”
Cheeriffic is making its name known not only regionally but nationally as well.
In both 2012 and 2013, two squads each from Cheeriffic won overall national championships.
In 2012, the Cheeriffic Tiny and Mini teams won national titles. Last year, the Cheeriffic Mini 1 team took the overall national title out of 84 teams when the final nationwide rankings were released. Last year’s Cheeriffic Youth 1 team was first in the country out of 88 teams. Another squad, the Cheeriffic Youth Level 2 team, were national runner-ups out of 98 teams from across the United States.
Three more events are left on the 2014 schedule.
Next up for the Cheeriffic teams is a JamLIVE! event in Louisville, Ky., set for March 1-2.
The fifth leg of the season will take Cheeriffic to the warm waters and sunny beaches of The Bahamas with the Championship Cup Cruise, April 14-19, over Spring Break.
It will be the first time Cheeriffic, now in its eighth year of existence, has ever left the United States for an international competition.
The team will compete aboard the cruise ship and will make stops in Nassau and Freeport.
The season ending event is the U.S. Finals at Virginia Beach in early May.