GREENVILLE – Tri-Village walked away from the 25th Annual Great Darke County Fair Cheerleading Competition Aug. 21 with three first place wins, plus a first place tie with Mississinawa Valley. The three wins were Pee Wee Cheer, Junior High Cheer and Large Varsity Cheer. The tie was Varsity Dance.
Mississinawa Valley took a first in Junior High Dance, while other first place wins went to UC Stateliners (Pee Wee Dance), Crystal Creech, National Trail (Junior High Individual) and Kelly Moore, Bradford (High School Individual). Moore was also named Competition Grand Champion.
One interested observer was Melinda Thompson, kindergarten teacher at Ansonia Elementary School. The Greenville High School graduate has attended the cheer competition every year since it started. A former cheerleader herself, she noted some of the things she would be looking for if she was a judge…
“If you change the music you need to stay in sync,” she said. “It needs to flow.” One of the participants did a standing back flip. “Back tuck,” she said. “You just stand there and do a back tuck. Tumbling is big now in cheer competition,” she said. Another thing Thompson said she looks for is spacing; how the group forms up, keeps its formation.
Does she have a divided loyalty between Greenville and Ansonia? She shook her head. “I root for them all,” she said.
According to competition Coordinator Jill Nieport participation was down a little because the fair was later this year. “A lot of out-of-county schools are already in session,” she said. Thirteen schools participated. Nine were from Darke County (including all seven school districts); out-of-county schools were National Trail, Ft. Recovery, Covington and Piqua. New to the competition were Darke County Elite and UC Stateliners.
Tri-Village graduate Courtney Osborne had been in cheer since the fifth grade and started competition in the seventh grade. This year she was helping coach T-V’s junior high cheer team, a first place winner. Thompson cheered in college, the University of Findlay, and was Greenville High School’s coach for a while.
“It’s something that’s in your blood,” she said, noting her sister was also a cheerleader. “It’s a culture of family. I grew up in it.”
Second and third place winners for Pee Wee Dance were Ansonia Youth Cheer and National Trail; Pee Wee Cheer: Ansonia Youth Cheer and Darke County Elite; Junior High Dance: Franklin Monroe and Ansonia; Varsity Dance: Bradford third after the first place tie; Junior High Cheer: Covington and Fort Recovery; and Large Varsity Cheer: Greenville and Piqua. The Spirit Title went to Bradford.
PHOTO CAPTION: Tri-Village performed well during the Great Darke County Fair Cheerleading and Dance Competition. Shown is the first place winning team in Large Varsity Cheer. (Gaylen Blosser photo)