PRHS Cheerleaders Win National, State and WPIAL Honors

This is the first year that the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association made Girls Competitive Spirit a championship sport

You might call the Pine-Richland High School cheerleading team a triple-crown winner—but it has nothing to do with horse racing.

The girls on the team have won national, state and regional accolades.

It started with the WPIAL's first-ever Competitive Spirit competition in mid-January when PR won first for AAA schools.

PR was a runner-up in the PIAA championship competition in Hershey in early February when it competed against 39 other teams.

This is the first year that the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association made Girls Competitive Spirit a championship sport.

Most recently, the cheer squad placed third in Universal Cheerleading Association's 2013 National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando in the small varsity division I.

Before the 2013 competition, head coach Danielle Hitson noted that PR had competed nationally in Orlando the previous six years and placed in the top 10 each year.

To see videos of the national competition, click on this link. In the search box, type "Pine Richland" (no hyphen) and three videos will show up on the right side of the page.

Team members and coaches are:

Jenna Craig, Captain

Kasey Elkin, Captain

Alex Stewart

Taylor Wilson

Maura Hagan

Jaclyn Kamenicky

Emma Jochem

Mary Kate Drury

Sarah Craig

Caitlin Henley

Jillian McALiney

Taylor Stewart

Elizabeth McMurray

Amanda Esswien

Rachel Semelbauer

Danielle Hitson, Head Coach

Daniella Derenzo, Assistant Coach

Rachle Doran, JV Coach


2013 PIAA Competitive Spirit Championship—Small Varsity Final Results:

  • 1st place—Butler Area
  • 2nd place—Pine-Richland
  • 3rd place—Franklin Regional
  • 4th place—Whitehall
  • 5th place—Philipsburg Osceola
  • 6th place—Exeter Township
  • 7th place—Cedar Crest
  • 8th place—Central Dauphin East
  • 9th place—Lansdale Catholic
  • 10th place—Elk County Catholic
  • 11th place—Archbishop Carroll

WPIAL Cheer Championship Results

  • 1st—Pine-Richland
  • 2nd—Shaler
  • 3rd—Butler
  • 4th—North Allegheny
  • 5th—Montour

Champion Runner‐Up

  • 6th—North Hills
  • 7th—Norwin

Additional Class AAA PIAA Qualifiers:

  • Bethel Park
  • Mt. Lebanon
  • Franklin Regional


ESPN will air the nationals competition in March and April. Click here for dates and times. The first-ever PIAA competitive spirit finals will be broadcast at 2 p.m. Feb. 23 on PCN.


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