Loud, proud, national champions: Cheerview

Clearview Regional’s cheerleading team claims national championship in Orlando

First row, left to right: Courtney Headman, Sarah McCabe, Alexa Rosenberger, Lauren DiCarlo, Lily Whalen, Lauren Swartz
2nd Row: Zoie Devine, Taylor Ladner, Alyssa Murphy, Destini Moore, Miranda Clark, Lindsey Coryell
3rd Row: Coach Kristina Lail, Tori Fare, Imari Ferrer, Erica Damm, Maddie Noakes, Coach Christina Legler

Usually when a team is on the verge of winning a national championship, a cheerleading squad leads the crowd into a euphoric frenzy. However, in mid-February, Clearview Regional High School’s cheer team, affectionately called “Cheerview,” was the group of athletes earning points and bringing home the victory.

Led by Christina Legler, head coach and former Philadelphia Eagles’ cheerleader, and Kristina Lail, former West Chester University cheerleader, Cheerview’s 16-girl squad is now the UCA Game Day National Champion.

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The team competed in the “Medium Varsity Non-tumbling Game Day” division.

This was the third consecutive year the squad appeared at the national championship. This year the event was held at the Orlando ESPN Wide World of Sports facility.

While the title “national champion” is new to the team, the mentality of being winners is not. This year alone, the squad claimed multiple first-place titles at competitions, including the UCA Garden State Championship Non-Tumbling Game Day event, UCA Northeast Regionals — the event that punched the team’s ticket to Florida — and more.

Throughout the course of the year, the team’s skill set and confidence increased with every twirl.

“We had been receiving compliments from other coaches, squad members and judges on how much they enjoy watching our routine,” Legler said.

Legler’s favorite routine her team performs — the one for which the team won the championship — is the Game Day routine. The routine is a three-minute dance that features a band dance, a situational sideline — mid-routine the team is given an offense or defense signal and must react accordingly — and a timeout cheer. Legler explained the Game Day routine involves signs, poms, dances, cheers and other crowd-leading techniques.

“[The performance] is to represent what your team would look like at a real game. I was really optimistic that we were going to do well,” said Legler, referring to the team’s chances in Florida despite knowing the defending champions were waiting for them.

While practice and muscle memory are huge factors in cheerleading, so are adaptability and focus. After the semi-final round in Orlando, Legler and Lail led their team outside to a patch of grass to implement changes to the routine based on comments from judges. One hour later, Cheerview claimed the title of champion.

“The hit,” Legler said, “it was amazing; I cried, and our score improved by over two points from the semi round.” The team lead by less than one point going into the final round.

“They pulled it off and my heart knew they won,” she said.

At home basketball and football games, Cheerview revs the engine of the Pioneer crowd and, in turn, the crowd boasts its support for the girls as the booming voice of Michael Wolk, PA announcer, yells out the long list of Cheerview titles.

Legler, being a former professional, says her team “naturally possess the qualities that make a Game Day performing team.”

Even when the team is not performing, Legler is impressed with the way her girls carry themselves.

“I am always proud of how they conduct themselves in public,” she said.

A proud coach with a winning team, Legler added, “I don’t think the average person realizes how much practice goes into these three-minute routines. … If you were a part of this team, you would never deny that cheerleading is absolutely a sport.”

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