Home Local Sports Richmond County cheerleaders earn top 5 finishes at national competition

Richmond County cheerleaders earn top 5 finishes at national competition

One of the teams from Richmond County Elite performs during the national competition July 17-18 in Myrtle Beach. Contributed photos

ROCKINGHAM — Three teams from Richmond County Elite placed in the top 5 last month at the National Youth Activities Association 2022 Cheer Nationals.

The competition was held July 17-18 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in South Carolina.

The Level 6 Fearless team tumbled to a second-place win in their division, with Level 7 Fantasy earning fourth and Level 4 Fame placing fifth, respectively.

The wins come following 10 months of hard work and practice and victories at the state competition in February.

Head coaches Cassie Tyler and Colby Patrick, and assistant coaches Autumn Hoffman and Shalima Lindsay, are dedicated to the sport of cheer and in bringing out the best in each team member.

According to Patrick, tryouts are held and teams are made in September. In addition to weekly practice, the girls and boys also attend tumbling classes and stunt clinics, working with various choreographers.

The first several months involve creating and practicing routines before participating in a hometown showcase at RSHS. The showcase allows parents and family members to see the results of the teams’ hard work.

More difficult material is then added, and the routine continues to be polished for several more months.

Click here to see photos from the 2022 hometown showcase.

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“This year we will have an additional national team, Level 5, so we will have four national teams starting in September,” Patrick said.

When asked what factors make RCE so successful, Patrick is quick to acknowledge, “We have great parents that will step up anytime. They’re always willing to help; they are the backbone of our company.”

Patrick also points out that “the coaches really love the sport and want to educate kids on the sport of cheerleading and what cheerleading can bring.”

“I think one of the most important things is just being committed to the kids and making sure they know it,” he added.

Over the past 12 years, the total number of children participating in RCE has grown from 25 to 175. Patrick says they have some kids that have been with them the entire time.

“Most of the kids that cheer at our location are from Richmond County but we also have kids who travel from other cities, including Sanford, Lillington, Chesterfield and Laurinburg,” Patrick said. “You don’t have to be from here to cheer for us.”

Tryouts for new national teams for the 2022-23 season is on Sept. 11 at the Falling Creek Park gymnasium in Rockingham. Tryouts for the younger teams will be on Sept. 12.