By Bill Battle
Missourian Sports Editor
In the competitive cheerleading world, the two-day Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Association St. Louis Regional event at Washington High School was nothing less than epic.
The St. Louis Regional, which has been held at Borgia in recent years, got much bigger this year with the addition of the teams which had competed in the Southeast Regional. That event was called off this year.
“I made the decision to move the event to Washington High School due to the large number of teams competing this year and the need to make it a two-day event,” said Borgia Coach Sandi Gildehaus, who also was the event coordinator. “The entire Southeast Regional had to be canceled due to low attendance, so all those teams came to us.”
The change in format and location was good, Gildehaus said.
“The two-day event went extremely well,” said Gildehaus. “The location was great with lots of positive feedback. We’re hoping to be able to host it again next year.”
Gildehaus stated Washington High School was an excellent host site and partner for the event.
“A huge thank you to Washington High School Athletic Director Bill Deckelman,” Gildehaus said. “He was great to work with and so supportive of all the cheerleaders. A bigger thank you to the Washington custodial staff. Anything we needed, they were right there to help. It was so great.”
Overall, Gildehaus said it was a great turnout by teams and fans, especially from area schools.
“We had a great turnout of fans to support all the local teams,” Gildehaus said. “It was great to be able to see Pacific, Union, St. Clair, Borgia and Washington cheerleaders all cheering each other on. Cheer has come a long way in the area. You would be amazed at what these teams can do. They are so fun to watch.”
Large crowds watched both days as schools competed for regional titles and the chance to advance to the state event Oct. 4-5 at the Hearnes Center in Columbia.
In action Tuesday, division winners were:
• Junior High — Poplar Bluff won with Sikeston second and Winfield third.
• JV Small — Washington won the title with Pacific finishing second.
• Class 1A Small — Perryville’s St. Vincent won with Cooter, Chaffee and Holcomb following.
• Class 1A Large — Charleston won with Portageville taking second.
• Class 2A Small — Festus school St. Pius X won with Orchard Farm finishing second.
• Class 2A Large — Thomas W. Kelly (Benton) won with Herculaneum, O’Fallon Christian, New Madrid County Central and Winfield following.
• Class 3A Small — Borgia captured the title with Festus, Sikeston, Park Hills Central and Union following. Perryville was awarded an at-large bid.
• Superlarge — Pacific won the title.
During Wednesday’s action, winners were:
• JV Large — Marquette won the title with Francis Howell second. Parkway Central and Rockwood Summit shared third. Francis Howell Central and Parkway South followed.
• Class 4A Small — Washington won the championship over Rockwood Summit and Ursuline Academy.
• Class 4A Large — Poplar Bluff was the winner with Parkway Central securing second place.
• Class 5 Small — Ritenour won the title.
• Class 5A Large — Marquette was the champion with Eureka finishing second. Francis Howell, Francis Howell Central and Northwest also claimed plaques. Parkway South was awarded an at-large bid to the state meet.
• Small Coed — Holt High School from Wentzville edged out its district sibling Timberland for the title. Pattonville was third with St. Clair fourth and St. Charles West fifth. Van Buren was awarded an at-large bid.