CHARLESTON – For the second year in a row Tug Valley High School has brought home a state cheerleading championship.
The squad won the Class AA title last year. This year, because of realignment, the school competed in Class A.
No problem. They won another championship and are now back to back state champs.
Tug Valley won the Class A championship by posting a score of 322.1, which was more than 15 points better than second-place Tyler Consolidated. Third-place went to Williamstown with a score of 295.45.
Tug Valley was the Region III champ in Class A while Tyler Consolidated finished runner-up overall despite finishing runner-up in Region I.
While Tug Valley earned its first Class A title, the Panthers aren’t exactly strangers to hardware after the team won the Class AA championship last year.
Tug Valley lost six girls off of last year’s competition squad because of graduation, but those who returned did not disappoint coach Tara Ellis.
“Leadership was a big key in how we got here and won today,” Ellis said. “It was huge. Captains’ leadership - that was the main key. They kept pushing the young girls so they understood how important it was to everybody.”
Ellis, who is assisted by Kendra Duty, also coached Tug Valley to the crown last year.
They could be building a dynasty like Tolsia had in past years and Brooke High has had in recent years.
“We have a lot of young girls and a lot of veteran girls so it’s been a mix of talent and emotions along the way,” Ellis said. “But it’s amazing because every year we have the motto, ‘We don’t rebuild, we reload.’ Now we start working toward next year.”
In Class AA, it was a battle of North Central teams that recently moved down in classification.
Robert C. Byrd, the Region II representative, took the floor fourth out of eight teams and put in the event’s second-best score at 348.55. East Fairmont, the Region 1 representative who led off the Class AA portion of the event and ended with a score of 334 for second place.
Mingo Central, made their best showing year for the new consolidated school, finished third.
Tolsia advanced to the state tournament as the Region IV runner-up, and finished fourth behind Mingo Central.
In Class AAA, Brooke earned its 10th Class AAA title in 12 years and 13th overall after posting a score of 397.2.
Second place in Class AAA went to Logan, who finished 53 points behind the Bruins in the Class AAA competition.
Winfield also competed in Class AAA as the Region IV runner-up and placed seventh overall.