The Mount Olive College cheerleading squad finished second overall at the Beach Bash Nationals Saturday at Myrtle Beach, S.C., and earned a bid to the U.S. Nationals next weekend at Virginia Beach, Va. In addition, the Trojans earned team and individual invitations to perform at national sporting events in 2013-14, including the All-American Halftime Show during the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Individual squad members Zantonio Chrisp, Stedmond Hampton and Leona Harris received invitations to perform during the Detroit Lions annual Thanksgiving Day game, this year against the Green Bay Packers. The three will also be part of the 2014 Pro Bowl Performance Tour.
"I am so proud of the spirit program as we have grown tremendously and will continue to do so," said head coach Ebony Wells. "The cheerleaders brought prestigious recognition to Mount Olive College and received offers and invitations of a lifetime."
Wells added, "Most of all I want to recognize my first year volunteer coach Samantha Sawvel as we couldnt have mastered this journey without her." Sawvel was a four-year member of the Trojan cheerleading squad and graduated last May.
The 12 members of the Mount Olive College competition cheerleading squad are Chrisp, Hampton, Harris, Cameron Braswell, Dorian Chadwick, Trey Darby, Darian Dobbs, Desiree Dozier, Davon Draughon, Alexis Golden, Allison Kee and Karina Ordonez.
The U.S. Finals will be held at the Virgina Beach Convention Center. Both the Beach Bash Nationals and the U.S. Finals are administered by Eastern Cheerleading Association.