Frankfort cheerleaders first, Keyser second at PVC championships
By Chapin Jewell
MT. STORM - On Saturday, Oct. 17, at Union High School in Grant County, the Potomac Valley Conference conducted its annual cheerleading championships. Competing in the Division 1 classification were member schools Berkeley Springs, Frankfort, Hampshire and Keyser.
Each squad completed two cheers/routines and were adjudicated by a panel of judges. The judges’ scores were tallied, the Frankfort Falcons finished in first place and were followed in second place by the Keyser Golden Tornado.
It’s a flip flop of last year’s finish where Keyser was first and Frankfort was second.
“It feels great. The girls couldn’t have deserved this any more,” Frankfort coach Lisa Moreland stated after the contest.
The win for Frankfort comes in a year when just like every other sport, COVID-19 related rules and restrictions have altered the landscape somewhat. Practice time was shorter due to the shrunk schedule. Even the competition itself took on a new look as certain things like stunting were prohibited.
Still, with everyone playing with the same set of rules, being creative in adapting routines to the new rules compared to what traditionally would have been the norm became the name of the game. Frankfort’s modifications served them well.
“We had a shorter time to prepare because we got started late in the season, but our competition date did not get pushed back, it stayed the same. Also, we weren’t allowed to stunt , that was good in some ways and not so good in others. It meant we had to bring more tumbling and get more creative with our routine. Also, our routine was 30-seconds shorter than it usually is.”
The Frankfort PVC victory came exactly seven months to the day that Falcon cheerleader Payton Grady, a member of this year’s junior class, passed away tragically in an ATV accident. Since that time, Grady’s fellow cheerleaders, schoolmates, friends, family and the Frankfort community at large have sought to honor her memory.
“It means a lot to the girls and they’ve done a lot of things this year to honor her. They wanted to dedicate today to her by wearing the shirts and wearing the bows that they have in their hair. They also had her bracelets on before we came out here,” Moreland explained.
Moreland expressed her appreciation for all involved in making the non-traditional, altered cheerleading season a successful one for the Falcons, “I just want to thank all the parents, my assistant coaches, the school and everyone that supported us, and also thank the girls for working so hard and performing so well today.”
In addition to team awards, individual honors were doled out in the form of an All-PVC Division 1 team. Those named to the team include, in the order they were presented, Cheyenne Hooker of Hampshire, Abby Spurling of Keyser, Shelby Dilley of Berkeley Springs, Hope Kiszka of Frankfort, and McKenzie Fletcher of Frankfort. Kiszka accepted the honor in honor of Payton Grady.