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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2018 1 year ago

Ocoee cheerleading looks to put a ring on it — with community's help | Observer Preps

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The Knights, who won Ocoee High’s first state FHSAA championship in a team sport last month, are fundraising to purchase state championship rings to commemorate the achievement.
by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

Last month, the Ocoee High competitive cheerleading team won the school’s first state championship in a team sport.

Now, the Knights are hoping to put a ring on it — but they need the community’s help.

Ocoee is fundraising to purchase state championship rings for the team, with a donation drive set up at schoolpay.com as well as spirit nights planned for April at Tijuana Flats in Winter Garden (April 11) and Chipotle in Ocoee (April 17).

Ocoee athletic director Bill Alderman says the goal is to raise roughly $5,000 in time to have the rings made and presented at the school’s spring football game May 18 — the Knights will be hosting a jamboree that evening.

“(Winning a state championship) is huge and we want to make it monumental for the girls,” Alderman said. “We’re flipping over every rock we can to do this.”

The championship performance for the Knights came one year after they had finished as runner-up in the Medium — Non-Tumbling division for Class 2A. This time, though, the Knights surged forward and won it all Feb. 4 at the FHSAA 2018 Competitive Cheerleading State Championships in Gainesville. 

Ocoee’s score of 77.40 bested runner-up Lakeland’s 76.00 — and was a whopping 13.9 points better than the team’s performance in 2017.

“They were losing their minds,” head coach Kristin Johnson said. “Half of them fell on the ground crying, and the other ones were jumping on each other.”

It was an achievement that was 13 years in the making for the school. 

The cheerleading team joined girls weightlifters Victoria and Samantha Jefferson — sisters who have won individual state championships — as the school’s only FHSAA champions.

“It’s historical — it’s the first (team championship) ever,” Alderman said. “We finally brought it home this year and it’s a credit to the girls.”

A fundraising account has been setup at bit.ly/2FOmOjV and 100% of donations from that account will go toward state championship rings for the team’s 18 members and coaching staff.

Anyone interested in more information or in other ways they might help out an contact Ocoee High Athletic Director Billy Alderman at [email protected].

Steven Ryzewski is the Senior Sports Editor for ObserverPreps.com, as well as all three of Observer Media Group's print publications in Orange County. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

See All Articles by Steven

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