The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 19, 2013

Milton cheerleading squad shares cheers and tears

MILTON — MILTON - A admiring crowd of more than 200 came to the Milton Area High School gymnasium Monday night to show appreciation for the varsity cheerleading squad, which finished fourth on Feb. 10 in the Universal Cheerleaders Association national title competition in Orlando, Fla.

“This group of ladies exceeded my expectations,” said coach Traci Ferguson — shortly after having her hair buzz cut to pay off a promise to the girls on her squad after their stellar performance all year.

“But I always knew this was a good group, since they were freshman,” she said, holding back tears. “I’m a crier, excuse me. These girls, I treat them like they’re my own kids. They have always been a great group. Hard working. Very dedicated and focused.”

Mayor Ed Nelson began the event at 6 p.m. by declaring the week of Feb. 17 Milton Competitive Cheerleaders Week, in honor of their achievement.

And what an achievement it was.

Ferguson addressing the crowd, explained how the squad at the end of last season, met and focused on the goal of making it to the nationals. “They did it by winning the District 4 competition, made it to the regionals and qualified for the national tournament. Then, their toughest challenge was to raise the $21,000 necessary to fund the trip to Orlando.”

Ferguson and her two coaches had designed a two-and-a-half-minute routine that the squad practiced two hours a day, sometimes two, three times a week.

“The competition was tough, there were 10 other schools — we were the smallest — matched by the size of our cheerleading squad. We had 21 cheerleaders,” Ferguson said, “so we competed against other schools with 21 cheerleaders or over in our category.

“On Saturday during the first round, the semifinals, we were nervous and you could tell it was a big deal. They were a lot more tense than I’ve ever seen them. We all were. I probably cried 10 times Saturday morning as people were sending us good wishes, former cheerleaders. It was highly emotional. Sunday, we were ready to go, we were our old selves again and we were ready to hit the floor.”

They made the finals and then lost second- and third-place finishes by a few points.

“Just an amazing accomplishment,” said Ferguson, who has been a cheerleading coach for 18 years. “To live out your dreams in this way.”

Three seniors on the squad came to the microphone to thank their families and friends for their support.

Alyssa Trostle said the competition fulfilled a dream of going to the national competition; Danielle Yoder said, “This was an awesome experience, the icing on the cake of my senior year”; and Jessica Dodson said, “Going to the competition was a dream come true. To go with these girls to Florida, I never thought it would happen, but it was an incredible experience. Getting to spend time with my teammates was just the best.”

Next year, it starts all over again, Ferguson said, again tearing up. “I lose 14 girls, seniors. We have some returning ladies. It’s exciting. But it will be different without this wonderful group of seniors.”

Text Only
  • DanCrash23.jpg BREAKING NEWS: Woman killed today in Danville area collision

    DANVILLE – An older woman, from the area, was killed in a log truck-car crash at about 1:45 this afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jay Paterno sues Penn State for 'rush to judgment'

    STATE COLLEGE - Two former Penn State assistant football coaches, including a son of the late Joe Paterno, are suing the university, alleging that it fired them prematurely after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal surfaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • 400-pound bull on the lam

    State police and a western Pennsylvania cattle owner are looking for a 2-year-old bull that has been missing for more than a week.

    July 23, 2014

  • Complainer: Cars whiz by, and drivers take whiz

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike has asked state police to increase patrols near an area of the toll road where a woman says she can see motorists exposing and relieving themselves near her backyard.

    July 23, 2014

  • spider24online.jpg Arachnid alert!

    We came across this spider brunching on another today near the American Legion post in Herndon. We aren't sure what type of spiders they are. Particularly the one with the full stomach. Do you?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's Editorial: Experts showing the way for reform

    Domestic abuse remains one of the most prevalent crimes nationally yet remains routinely unreported.

    July 23, 2014

  • Feds ship 500 children to Pennsylvania

    HARRISBURG — An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the southern U.S. border is spilling into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Hope Lewis Inmate's widow wants $750,000 from Northumberland County

    SUNBURY — The widow of a Shamokin man who hanged himself inside Northumberland County Prison is demanding $750,000, the firing of all jail employees who worked the night of June 16 and a complete overhaul of policies and procedures for suicidal inmates.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vancliff Lifer gets more time for molesting Danville girls

    WILKES-BARRE — A convicted murderer accused of having persuaded a former Danville woman to bring two girls to visit him in a northeastern Pennsylvania prison so he could molest them has been sentenced to additional prison time and fined.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Union County driver, 86, dies near Weikert

    WEIKERT — An 86-year-old Weikert man died in a one-car accident Tuesday morning, when he lost control of his vehicle on Weikert Road in front of the Union County Sportsman’s Club, veered off the road and slammed into a tree.

    July 22, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.