The tradition of award-winning cheerleading teams at Villa Angela-St. Joseph is continuing in 2015.
The Vikings are once again one of Northeast Ohio’s elite squads and will be working this winter toward the ultimate goal of competing for a state championship on March 1 at Ohio State University.
“This team is probably one of the most talented teams we've had here at VASJ in a while – as far as where we are compared to previous years, we're are leaps and bounds ahead of schedule which means we will have that much more time to refine and perfect our skills,” VASJ cheerleading coach Tori Ung said.
VASJ competed at the Champion Cheer Central, Inc. competition hosted at Shaker Heights High School on Saturday, January 17. The Vikings took first place in the Mounting Division over second place Cleveland Central Catholic and third place Trinity.
“It was a great competition, yet when we head onto the statewide competitions later in the season, we won't be competing against CCC (Division 2), but we will see Trinity HS again,” Ung said of the accomplishment.
VASJ’s next competition is on Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the Ohio Associate of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA) Regional Competition where the Vikings will have the opportunity to qualify for the State Championship held on Sunday, March 1 in Columbus. This competition is no-score based competition and the judges will determine if teams either qualify or do not qualify for the state tournament.
For the state championship, five regions of qualifiers from the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Central Ohio will come together to compete in Columbus. There are no set number of qualifiers who compete from each region – so there may be teams who qualify from the Central Ohio region and none from the Northwest Region as an example.
Divisions are divided into Mounting (ability to lift cheerleaders in the air) and Non-Mounting divisions as well as Divisions based on school size. VASJ will compete in the Division 4 Mount division.
Ung said any past success the Vikings have enjoyed or recent accomplishments this winter won’t slow down the work and preparation of the team.
“Similarly to other sports where you watch film and create a game plan around your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, we are updating our routine to hone in on the OASSA scoresheet,” Ung said. “The previous competition we participated in and the OASSA scoresheets are very different and we must alter the routine to gain maximum points where the scoring weight is highest.”
Ung said the cheerleaders also are enjoying being part of the boys basketball season, which has seen the Vikings rise to No. 9 in the USA Today national rankings.