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News Story
Updated: 12/18/2013 08:00:01AM

Grand Champions

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PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

Regan Messner, Vicky Jones and Vanessa Esposito hold hands and dance after the county tournament Saturday at Bartow High School. Following the competition the 12 teams that took part all took the mats and while waiting for the results they all danced together.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

Jasmine Arboines, Jordan Anderson and Hudson Barnes do a little dancing as the 12 teams that competed all got on the mat after the compeitition as the music played. They were awaiting for the judges' to compile the results of the competition.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

Vanessa Esposito and Brianna Clark cheer during the county compeitition Saturday at Bartow High School. The Bartow team had the highest score of the 12 teams there winning the Grand Championship trophy for the fourth year in a row.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

Before taking to the mats Desiree Chavez, Shelby Dorminy and Deandre Wimberley form a stand during county championships Saturday at Bartow High School.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

Bartow High School cheerleaders cheer together as they hold up high the Grand Championship trophy Saturday at the county tournament at Bartow High School. It was the fourth year in a row they won Grand Championship.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

The Bartow High varsity cheerleaders do a pyramid Saturday at the county championship. Pictured here are Christina Jackson, Vanessa Esposito, Desiree Chavez, Kylie Stepehens, Deandre Wimberley, Katherine Hairk, Hudson Barnes, Vicky Jones, Julianna Herrin and Brooke Adames.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

Kiyanah Lawrence, Mara Stevens, Kylie Stephens and Desiree Chavez cheer Saturday at the county tournament at Bartow High School.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

While waiting to take to the mats, Jovon Penny, Kylie Stephens, Shelby Dorminy, Carlos Northern, and Raven Davis wait for the school to be called. As they entered the crowd went wild with cheers and Bartow High's team won the county Grand Champion trophy for the fourth straight year.

PHOTO BY JEFF ROSLOW

Juliana Herrin cheers as Mara Stevens, and Hudson Barnes are behind her during the county tournament Saturday at Bartow High School. The cheerleaders won the Grand Champion trophy for the fourth year in a row.

By JEFF ROSLOW

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The cheers were loud when they were introduced and the loudest while they performed.

And it was well-deserved, as Bartow High School’s cheerleading team won first place in Co-Ed and Grand Champion the Polk County tournament Saturday at Bartow High School.

Grand Champion was for the team that garnered the most total points of all the groups that participated in Saturday’s competition. This year was the fourth straight year that Bartow has earned that. Twelve of the county’s 17 public high schools competed.

This is the seventh year the competition has been held and organizer Lori Joliff, also Bartow’s head coach, said every year it gets bigger and teams are getting better. That’s both good and bad for her team.

The defending national Co-Ed champions, the BHS team faced tough competition in the tournament against the only other Co-Ed team that competed from Ridge Community High School.

However, more important, she said, the students have to compete to not only get better at the sport but to see others and how they compare with them.

“It’s an opportunity to see the competition,” she said. “It’s a life skill … everyone depends on one another out there.”

So far this year, the national champions have won the UCA regionals in Orlando, and the All-Out Championships and the FCDA competition. They did finish second by 0.1 points in the state competition to Fleming Island and she said that will stick with them when they compete in the national competition Feb. 7-9 at the Wide World of Sports.

“That is something that will hang over our heads,” Joliff said. “Everyone is hungry. Everyone wants (the national title) and we really have to think about it. It was also a learning lesson for coach to come that close to a win.”

For the national competition Joliff’s team has to raise $7,800, and the money has to come from the team. They are having fundraisers to help raise the money, but are also seeking donations from anyone who wants to help. For those interested contact the school at 863-534-7400.


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