The Weddington High School cheerleading team has earned a state championship title in the Large Varsity D1 division at the 2019 NCHSAA Cheerleading Invitational in Raleigh. This season marks the first year of competitive cheerleading that Weddington has participated in since they earned the same honor 10 years ago in 2009.
Weddington cheer coach Angie McDuffie said that the inspiration for the team’s return to competition was due largely to encouragement from athletic director Mike Hart, who promised the team that they would have the practice space necessary to carry out their competition plans, and assured them of their readiness.
Despite a lack of competition experience within the team, coach McDuffie said, the girls were all on board to take up the challenge of becoming a competition team. Practice would have to become more intense, and the team would have to practice nearly every day, but, coach McDuffie said, they were ready to commit.
Coach McDuffie and coach Jennifer Ford, both N.C. State cheer alumni came up from Weddington Middle to coach the high school team, expecting a typical season. Their experience and skill were to be put to the test as well, preparing the girls for, in many cases, their first year of competition cheer.
The team would have to focus on what they did well, coach McDuffie said. Their routine, she said, may not be at the highest difficulty level, but they can be super sharp, and super clean, focusing on the details that other teams might overlook. That is just what the team did, she said. Focusing on their specialty, the team cheer aspect of the competition, Weddington was able to score enough points to offset any potential lack of difficulty in their routine, and outscore last year’s Champion team, Cardinal Gibbons by nearly two points. To top off their state championship win, Weddington outscored more than 100 other schools across all divisions, earning the second-highest score of all schools in the competition, just half a point less than Carolina Cup winner, 4A Davie County.
The most important thing that the team learned, coach McDuffie said, is that if you put in the hard work, and if your attitude is right, you can overcome any obstacles that you will face throughout your life.
Weddington won this year’s competition with a score of 85.15 points. Cardinal Gibbons High School, who earned second place, finished with 83.6 points. Third place, Carson High School, finished with 67 points. Wake Forest, Wakefield, and Conley High School came in fourth, fifth and sixth.
Congratulations to the Weddington cheer team on their championship, and for all of their hard work leading up to it.