Published 12:02 am Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Opp’s varsity cheerleaders celebrate winning the 2012 AHSAA Class 3A Cheerleading State Championship Saturday in Hanceville. OHS beat defending state champion Winfield. | Courtesy photo

Opp knocked off Class 3A defending state champion Winfield to win the 2012 AHSAA Cheerleading State Championship on Saturday in Hanceville.

Winfield, the clear favorites at the competition, won the state title the past three years in a row. WHS finished runner up at this year’s championship.

OHS cheer sponsor Lorrie Harrison said she knew the girls put out a good enough routine to win the state title.

“It was very exciting,” Harrison said. “Before and when the girls went out there, their performance had just a certain dynamic. After it was done, I was confident that we had won it.”

In fact, the OHS cheer squad felt good about their routine, Harrison said.

“Winfield was good,” she said. “Both of us had clean, crisp routines.”

After the competition, the OHS varsity cheerleaders were sitting on a performance mat with WHS to their left.

Cheerleading officials were calling out the winners and when WHS was called as the first runner up, Harrison said she knew the girls had won it.

“All of that hard work paid off for us,” she said. “Everybody was crying.”

Harrison said the girls accomplished a goal that had been set for quite some time.

The Opp varsity cheer squad members are: Ali Taylor, Savannah Gerber and Jaci Parker, seniors; Bethany Elmore, Whitney Wilson, Jordan McInnis, Madison Short and Amy Young, juniors; Anna Harrelson, Tori Reisnour, Ashley Peacock and Alexa Wilson, sophomores; and Sara Ballard, Katlynn Schively, Emily Boothe, Gracyn Blair and Mallory Kelley, freshmen.