The Providence Day School varsity cheerleaders recently won their first N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship.
The Chargers won the Small Varsity Cheer Division on Feb. 4 during the NCISAA's first state championship for cheerleading. Until this year, cheerleading was not recognized as a state championship sport.
"It was discouraging that we did not receive the same recognition as other athletes," said Charger cheerleader Shana Thomas.
Head coach Beth Freeman agreed, saying, "The biggest thing was there were no wins and losses to measure ourselves like other sports have."
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The team competed in six categories, achieving a score of 116.4 with no deductions.
"The pyramid stunt was the hardest," said Anna Scealy, while "The partner stunts were everyone's favorite category."
Like other sports, cheerleading is physically demanding and requires conditioning, tryouts and summer camps.
"We all have cheered with pulled muscles, torn ligaments, bruises and even a dislocated arm," said Savannah Morgan.
Freeman is now looking ahead to next year. "We want to win the entire competition next year. We want to become the Grand Champions," she said.