Hundreds turn out for `Olympics of Cheerleading'

NEIGHBORS

November 01, 1999|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THERE WAS LITTLE silence at North Carroll High School Oct. 24 as more than 800 girls and their spirited relatives piled into the gymnasium for the annual Carroll County Football League Cheerleading competition.

Cowbells clanged, shakers rattled, and fans volleyed cheers from one side of the room to the other. Banners and posters encouraged the young competitors to "Smile and Show Those Teeth" and "Yell Louder."

After months of meticulous planning and practice, the girls, who ranged in age from 6 to 13, and their coaches were ready for what many dubbed "the Olympics of cheerleading."

Eight teams from Carroll County and beyond performed a four-minute cheer and a two-minute dance routine for a panel of four judges (students at Towson University).

For some parents, seeing their children beam through four minutes of synchronized perfection was overwhelming. Finksburg resident Karen Campitelli quickly wiped away tears so she could focus her video camera on her daughters, Alissa and Gianna, members of the Westminster Wildcats C Team.

The Westminster Wildcats C Team is coached by Gayle Bien, Dina Dill, Lori Rush and Denise Velaquez-Henson. Karen Campitelli's husband, Joe, helped choreograph the team's dance routine, which garnered third place. The team earned second place for its cheers.

The Westminster Wildcats D Team, coached by Melissa Jording and Karen Coale, won second place for its dance routine and third place for cheers. Brandy Harrod, a former Westminster Optimist cheerleader, and Westminster High School student Melissa Smith, worked with the Westminster Wildcats D Team as well.

The competition "is very overwhelming," said Jording, whose daughter Nicole is on her team. "But we knew our girls were good and it is what we work for."

The coveted Spirit Stick, a prize for the team and fans who show the most overall enthusiasm, participation and sportsmanship, was awarded to Westminster for the second half of the competition, and to North Carroll Recreation Council for the opening hours of the event.

"I was as thrilled as my daughter, Victoria, about winning the Spirit Stick," said Carmela Guthart. "The spirit and sportsmanship are what children need to learn."

This year's trophies were awarded as follows:

A Teams, Cheer: first, Sykesville; second, Winfield; third, Hereford; fourth, , Reisterstown. A Teams, Dance: first, Hereford; second, Winfield; third, (tie) Westminster and Reisterstown.

B Teams, Cheer: first, Reisterstown; second, Westminster; third, Arbutus; Fourth, Winfield. B Teams, Dance: first, Hereford; second, Westminster; third, Winfield; fourth, Arbutus.

C Teams, Cheer: first, Reisterstown; second, Westminster; third, Sykesville; fourth, Arbutus. C Teams, Dance: first, Arbutus; second, Sykesville; third, Westminster; fourth, Winfield.

D Teams, Cheer: first, Arbutus; second, Sykesville; third, Westminster; fourth, Reisterstown. D Teams, Dance: first, Winfield; second, Arbutus and Westminster; third, Reisterstown.

Teams from Lutherville, Hereford and North Carroll also competed.

Delighted with Dolphin Dash

Early tallies from Friendship Valley Elementary School's annual Dolphin Dash have everyone cheering.

This year, the school's PTO expects to make more than $9,000 from the event. After a grand opening ceremony that featured cheers from each grade, the children -- and some parents and teachers -- dashed off around the school.

Special congratulations went to fourth-grader Matthew Bassford, who raised the most money ($230), and won a basket filled with Beanie Babies. Other students won in-line skates, soccer balls, and gift certificates to the school's Book Fair, to Players, and to Locust Books.

"It took a lot of enthusiastic parent volunteers and a chairperson like Kathy Ludwig to make the dash successful," said PTO President Vicki Anzmann. "We hope the event will continue to be memorable and profitable."

Lisa Breslin's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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