The relationship between North County residents Margaret Smith and Lisa Phillips could be likened to the one between college basketball coaches Roy Williams (Kansas) and Dean Smith (North Carolina).
Williams benefited from years of tutelage under Dean Smith, and now both of them have teams in this year's Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament.
Margaret Smith, a 29-year cheerleading coaching veteran and present coach at North County, has passed on her vast experience and know-how to Phillips, a 1987 Brooklyn Park High graduate and four-year cheerleader at the now-defunct school.
And both of them benefited last Sunday at the East Coast Cheerleading Championships on the campus of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
Smith's North County High varsity squad placed first in the 13-team Large Varsity Division, and Phillips' Anne Arundel Gridiron Rebels took the top spot in the 15-team Small Junior High Division.
More than 100 squads from 11 states on the Eastern Seaboard competed for championships in eight different divisions.
North County's varsity, the Gridiron Rebels, plus Old Mill High's junior varsity contingent, qualified forthe event by placing at local competitions at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Anne Arundel Community College and Harundale Mall in Glen Burnie.
"I think we accomplished a great deal by not only winning, but by merging two archrivals (Andover and Brooklyn Park) into one unit. They've blended together so well in the past year," said Smith, a science teacher at Brooklyn Park-Lindale Middle School.
Like her mentor, Phillips didn't expect to win the competition. Athird-place showing would have suited her just fine.
"We were stunned (by the win). Last year, we didn't even get honorable mention, so we were just praying for third," she said. "When they announced thesecond- and first-place runners-up, and we didn't hear our name, we were totally disgusted.
"Then, we heard the announcer asking us topick up our first-place trophies. It was just so shocking," said theformer Frostburg State University cheerleader, who now works as an insurance agent in Baltimore.
While Phillips' hopes were far surpassed, junior North County captain Ashley Boudris and the rest of her teammates would not accept anything other than first.
"When we got there, we expected to win. We didn't want to settle for second," saidBoudris.
"But during the middle of our routine, we had a foul-up,and in
major competitions like this one, one foul-up and you can forget about first. That's why we were so surprised that we won."
Boudris and teammates Jennifer Emrich and Amy Luebehusen were among 17 cheerleaders picked out of the high school divisions to represent the East Coast at the 1992 Hula Bowl -- the annual collegiate footballall-star classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.
"We're all excited about going," said Boudris. "I've never been there before. It should be a great experience for us."
Other members of the Knights' cheerleading squad are Kris Antonis, Carla Bowyer, Jolene Chase, Lisa Crouch, Chelsea Danforth, Jennifer Harris, Stephanie Herlth, Tracie Hutchison, Stephanie Milito, Chris Mosley, Sandy Shomler, Linda Varshal and Crystal Weaver.
Members of the Anne Arundel Gridiron Rebels include Christina Beal, Kristeena Canupp, Trina Gailes, Angela Happel, Shawna Hemphill, Jamie Huffman, Susan Kroedel, Kerry Kuczinski, Laurie Kuczinski, Susan Kroedel, Jaime Mangum, Jenny Morris, Colleen Roe, Mandi Sikesand Sarah Sullivan.
Old Mill's junior varsity cheerleading team did not place at the competition.