YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The East High School cheerleading competition team is heading to the state championship.
“We put all this hard work in and then it’s actually paying off and we’re actually doing something, making history,” said Azahrya Jones, 10th grade.
Assistant coach Ty Hobard said this is the first year the East High Golden Bears has had a competition team. But, their hard work led them straight to the championship.
She also said the guidance from head coach Angela Jones is what got the girls as far as they have come.
“The girls absolutely love her and it’s because of her and her resilience, it’s why the girls are succeeding,” Hobard said.
Jones and Hobard each have more than 11 years experience in coaching, but this is their first year coaching at East.
Hobard said the one word she would use to describe the girls is resilient.
“I really want the community to know how hard the girls work. I tell the girls all the time, they’re a little different because they have to overcome so much, to even get to this point,” she said.
The school has a full team, which cheers for games and school events. Then, there is the competition team, made up of six girls. They compete in different tournaments and practice almost daily.
“We all built a family-like bond. It’s just like, we’re all sisters… Cheer is a space where a lot of people can get away from certain things with life and everything. When we cheer, it’s kind of like our emotions are being put out on the floor,” Jones said.
The girls will head to the state championship in Columbus on Saturday, Feb. 29. They are welcoming the community to come out and support. A bus will be at East High School to take anyone interested in going for free.
To ride the bus, you must RSVP by Feb. 21, just email at Ty.email@example.com.
Hobard said they will begin tryouts for the next season, April 16-18 at 5 p.m. at East High School.