UMES FINISHES FIRST PLACE IN TWO MEAC COMPETITIONS, AND SECOND OVERALL
March 6, 2012
Winston-Salem, N.C.--The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Cheerleading Championships were held March 4 at the Joel Coliseum. There were 11 teams in the championship, including the UMES Hawks Cheerleaders. The Hawks finished first place in the MEAC Co-Ed and All-Star performances, while taking second place in the overall competition.
The season for the cheerleaders has been filled with drama, heart break and injuries. Between the team being reduced in size, to the 5 AM practices, cheering for the other UMES sports, marching in parades and doing other performances, the cheerleaders were beyond exhausted.
However, in the end the UMES Hawks Cheerleading Team won the first place division for the co-ed division. This is the first time UMES has won such an honor. In addition, UMES Hawks Cheerleading came in second place, for the second time in three years. The team placed second in the overall competition, finishing just four points below the overall winner Morgan State. And for the hat trick, UMES Hawks Cheerleading team member senior Adrian Gibbscame away with first place in the MEAC All-Star Division.
The division is set for the most impressive cheerleader of the entire contest. Two-year member Adrian Gibbs, the winner of the All-Star division stated, "I've never been on a team that worked so hard and deserved this more."
The team is headed by seniors Lamar Waul, Shantelle Moses, Destinee Robinson, MelQuia Pitts, Kendrick Burns and Allyson Brinson. As well other team members including Ashley Goodin, Ashley Taylor, Christina Batts, Terria Wright, Bre'Anna Clifton, Niesha Backus, Alex Caston, Hawa Dozier, Tamyra Hall, Brandy Tankard, Tanesha Williams, Jasmine Roberts, Diamond Kennedy-Webb, and Alaya Robinson.
The entire team was in tears as it was announced that UMES were the winners of the division. This was an especially bittersweet moment for Moses whose father passed away from a long illness a week and a half ago. She was comforted by Robinson who told her, "He is looking down and watching. It was for him."
Ms. Colleen Dean, the cheerleading advisor, was more nervous than many on the team as this was her first time backstage with the team at a competition. She was very proud of the cheerleading team. "It was so hard to watch the kids go through all of the training and stress, but the results make it evident that it was worth it," said Dean.
Three year volunteer Head Coach Deedra Artis was also happy with her team's results. Since UMES was last to perform in its division, Artis had an opportunity to watch the other teams and had a good idea what they needed to do to win. "It was theirs to lose," said Artis to the team. She explained, "We had a lot of obstacles, but it made us more determined to perform well".
The 1998 and 1999 UMES Cheerleading team won the MEAC Grand Champion nod for the overall competion in 1999, and placed second in the Historically Black College and University Cheerleading competition at Clark Atlanta University the same year. The 1998-99 squad was the first UMES Cheerleading team to win a MEAC Cheerleading Championship under head coach Roger Johnson.
The UMES Cheerleading team would like to send their thanks out to their entire support system, especially the Thundering Hawks Pep Band who were watching from the stands. It is that support and the hard work of our athletes that have helped us get to this point.