Pennsylvania’s Finest: Dragons Finish Fifth in 2A Large Varsity Division at PIAA Competitive Spirit Championships

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The Warren Dragons finished fifth at the PIAA Competitive Spirit Championships. Photo Warren Athletics Fund.

HERSHEY, Pa. – Already the owners of back-to-back District 10 titles, the Warren Dragons cheerleading squad is adding some more hardware to the trophy case.

The Dragons took center stage at Hershey’s GIANT Center for the second day on Saturday, coming home with a fifth-place finish in the Class 2A Large Varsity division at the PIAA Competitive Spirit Championships.

It’s an improvement of one spot from their sixth-place finish a year ago.

“The journey has been great!” said Warren coach Melissa Feaster. “In early December we started competing in front of judges. At our first competition, we scored 71 with five deductions. Week after week we kept working at perfecting our routine and on the execution of our stunts.”

The result was a team that continued to get better, tallying judges’ scores of 81.5, 82.1, and 81.7 (there was a three-judge panel) for an overall score of 81.7667 in Saturday’s finals. The Dragons bypassed the semifinal round with their performance in the prelims on Friday.

“Each time we competed, we got a higher score,” Feaster said of her team’s steady improvement. “Better yet, our deductions kept getting smaller. Today at the finals, we hit zero deductions. That’s amazing with the amount of pressure the team experienced. All that hard work helped us score 10 points higher than we did in December.”

And the fifth-place finish, while great, is only part of the story. The Dragons have been on a journey to put themselves, and the sport, on a greater pedestal.

“Overall the last couple of years, we have continued to take strides towards gaining the recognition the sport of cheerleading deserves,” Feaster said. “Anyone that has competed at the state level knows how big of an accomplishment that is. Last year we competed at the state level and finished sixth with a score of 67.07. This year we placed fifth with a score of 81.7 with zero deductions. As you can see, we are closing in on some of the best teams in the state of Pennsylvania, and some of those teams compete at Nationals, too.”

Neshannock took home the gold in Warren’s division with a score of 84.9, just ahead of District 9’s Elk County Catholic (84.633). Archbishop Ryan finished third and Laurel fourth.

It’s a Dragon program that has soared to new heights, and one that has its eyes on even greater things in the future.

“Our cheer program is heading in an amazing direction, and we have the heart and drive to continue to grow,” Feaster said. “Today, as we reflected on our weekend in Hershey, the team eagerly started rattling off goals for next season. Some of them have already requested that I start having open practices to work on harder stunting skills.”