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North Pinellas Panthers beat the competition

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More stories from Erin Behrmann

Some PHU students competed, winning at the Nationals cheer competition.

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From flyers to back spot, every position is unique and has their own job. All teams have a chance to compete but one team in particular is the North Pinellas Panthers.

Nine kids in PHUHS, that are freshmen, competed in this competition which happened Dec. 3, 2018 at ESPN in Orlando.

In the last competition, regionals, the panthers won first place, becoming the grand champs, and winning best choreography out of the other teams. In nationals the panthers won first place out of 11 teams in their division.

“All I remembered was when they called the second place winner and we weren’t called, I thought there was no way that we were going to get first, but when they started to say North Pinellas for 1st, I started to cry,” Gianna Carfora (‘22) said.

Globals is next up for the panthers, which is happening in January, in New Jersey.

“It was a great feeling when we were called up for first place. I cried because I was surprised and so happy that I’m going to be going to globals with my team and compete against people from all over the world,” Reese Small (‘22) said.

The cheer coaches were just as surprised as the cheerleaders were. None of them expected to place after the 2nd place winners were called. When this team won, a couple cheerleaders got up to receive the trophy in shock. It is amazing how a couple of students at our school had the chance to experience winning first place at nationals.

“I think I was the only one who didn’t cry on my team but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t happy, I was thrilled that we won, I can’t wait to go to New Jersey to compete. I hope to win there but if not it still has been a great experience getting this far,” Hayleigh Pippin (‘22) said.

The North Pinellas Panthers were the real national grand champs in their division.

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North Pinellas Panthers beat the competition