BJHS cheerleaders earn national recognition
Record Managing Editor
The Bob Jones High School Competition Cheerleaders are among the top 10 squads in the nation.
The teams earned national recognition during the Universal Cheerleading Association's National Cheerleading Competition in Orlando, Fla. For the first time in the school's history, Bob Jones sent both the varsity and junior varsity squads to the competition held on Feb. 8-9.
The varsity squad consists of 16 cheerleaders with 12 competing in the small varsity division, the largest division in the competition. The varsity competition is a three-step process. All teams compete in preliminaries and selective teams advance to the semi-finals and finals. The top two teams from each group – which include the A, B, and C groups of the 64 squads – advance directly to the finals.
Bob Jones hit close to perfect in preliminaries advancing directly to the finals. The varsity team advanced to the finals and ranked first after the preliminaries.
The junior varsity squad consists of 14 girls. This is the first year Bob Jones has had a junior varsity competition cheerleading team. The junior varsity competition is a two-step process. All teams compete in preliminaries and selected teams advance to the finals. The junior varsity division was composed of 45 teams.
Shannon Pike coaches the varsity competition program and Kelly Hughes is the junior varsity coach.
"Soon after their selection, the cheerleaders began a rigorous training schedule, which included daily conditioning and practice five days a week," Pike said. "Cheerleading is much more conditioned athletes. Last year was the first time we made it to the finals when we placed 11th."
Pike was a member of the 1993 UCA National Championship Cheerleading Squad from Sparkman High School and is a former University of Alabama cheerleader.
Bob Jones High School is now one of the top competitors in the UCA Nationals Competition with both squads placing in the top 10 in the nation. The competition will be shown on ESPN in March.