Chantilly High's Cheerleading Squad won the Northern Region cheerleading championships Saturday night, beating Stone Bridge High School by a narrow margin, 457 to 455, at Robinson Secondary School. Last year, the Chargers finished in second in the region behind Stone Bridge, who went on the win the Group AAA state championship. Chantilly finished seventh.
"The past week we've worked on making everything clean and perfect as we can. They definitely stepped it up when they needed to," said coach Jim Kelly.
Kelly said that his team prepared a routine that put them in the elite category in every skill, from stunting and dancing, to tumbling and motions.
“To be competitive you have to do certain skills at certain levels to win,” he said. “If you don’t do the skills at certain levels, your routine won’t allow you to win.”
Chantilly competed against eight teams, of which the top four teams will advance to the states: Stone Bridge High (2nd place), West Springfield High (3rd), and Fairfax High (4th).
"It was a big win for them. It was a big confidence boost," said Kelly, who coaches along with Melanie Badillo. "They gave a clean, sharp performance and all their skills just gave them the edge this time.
Kelly said that he has been impressed with his senior captains this year, who have acted “like a mini coaching staff.” Captains Angela D’Amico, Katie Cushman, Monica Judkins and Stephanie Passino kept the squad disciplined during practice while “pulling the team together and pumping them up.”
They are very focused on the team,” said Kelly. “They have taken the bull by the horns and they are another separate coaching staff.”
Chantilly will go on to compete in the VHSL State Cheerleading championship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, next Saturday, Nov. 11.