OVAC cheering championships set at?WesBanco

WHEELING – The 22nd Annual OVAC Cheering Championships will be held Saturday at WesBanco Arena.

The will be 29 schools competing in five divisions: Class 1A – Beallsville, Bishop Donahue, Madonna, Paden City, St. John Central and Valley; Class 2A – Bridgeport, Shadyside, Steubenville Catholic, Toronto and Wheeling Central; Class 3A – Barnesville, Bellaire, Linsly, Magnolia, Monroe Central, River and Tyler Consolidated; Class 4A – Buckeye Local, Martins Ferry, Oak Glen, St. Clairsville, Steubenville, Union Local and Weir; Class 5A – Brooke, Edison, John Marshall and Wheeling Park.

Bidding to defend their crowns from last season will be Bishop Donahue in Class A, Linsly in AA and Tyler Consolidated in AAA. In addition, the Class 4-A division will again be a battle as St. Clairsville defends its fifth championship in a row. Brooke will defend the first ever Class 5-A crown against Wheeling Park, which will try and reclaim an OVAC title after a three-year run in Class 4-A.

Libby Shepherd, cheering director for the OVAC, expects everything to go smoothly again this season as this is the second year for the five class format. “There are no new schools, there have been no rule changes; so it will be the same competition as always,”

“We just hope the weather cooperates,” said Shepherd, recalling the past problems with snow and ice on competition Saturday. Her concerns were echoed by Thomas E. Rataiczak, Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the OVAC.

All squads will perform a three-minute open routine for the panel of judges which will include cheer and dance. The four winning junior high OVAC squads will also perform during the competition.

The doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the competition begins following warm ups for the squads competing in the morning session.

Tentative times for the competition schedule are: 1-A competition 10:05, 2-A competition 10:45, 3-A competition 11:05. Awards for Classes A,?AA and AAA at noon. The 4-A competition is lated to begin at 1:50 and 5-A competition 2:25 and awards for 4 and 5 A will wrap up the championships at approximately 3 p.m,.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for students.

Palmer can be reached at mpalmer@timesleaderonline.com.