The Highland Regional High School cheerleading squad took second place in a competition held in Hammonton on Sunday.
While a second-place finish in a four-team competition normally wouldn't be that big of a deal, it was for the Highland squad, as it was the school's first cheerleading competition in four years.
"I was extremely proud of them. I think that they have been dedicated and working hard for the past four months, and I truly think it paid off," first-year coach Kerrie Williams said Wednesday. "About half the squad had never competed before, so it was good to see that they were out on the mat for the first time ever in their life and they did excellent."
The other schools to compete in the Spirit Extreme competition at Hammonton High School were Maple Shade, Triton and Charter Academy of Wilmington (DE).
The 2012-13 Highland cheerleading squad is freshmen Alyssa Trusty, Alyssa Muldoon and Cassidy Lucas; sophomores Tiana Evans, Brielle Colbert and Samira Allen; juniors Brielle Collins, Karla Goldberg, Meah Jones, Shakura Floyd, Sydnie Kinsler, Erika Giordano, Alice Souder, Lauren Zalewski and Lauren Zuchowski; and seniors Dariya Thompson, Imani Henderson (co-captain), Brittany Nace (co-captain), Angela Ming and Dominique Boyd.
Sunday's competiton at Hammonton will be Highland's lone foray into competitive cheering this season, but you can catch the squad in action at upcoming winter sporting events.
Williams' goal is to have the cheerleading squad competing in more and more events each year, then going to nationals in five years.
The Highland business teacher previously coached the junior varsity cheerleading squad at Eastern Regional High School, in Voorhees, for two seasons and the Mount Laurel Cheerleading Association the prior six years before taking the Tartans' cheerleading job this year.