While most folks were busy watching the Super Bowl early Sunday evening, the Coral Glades and Dillard cheerleaders had a much more important item on their agenda — winning a state championship.
And that’s exactly what they did as both teams captured state titles in their respective divisions in the Competitive State Cheerleading Finals at the Stephen O’Connell Center in Gainesville.
Led by coach Caitlin Pein, Coral Glades won the Extra Large Non-Tumbling division while coach Ernest Merrell led Dillard to the Large Non-Tumbling division title.
For Coral Glades, a school located in Coral Springs that has barely registered on the athletic radar since it opened its doors in 2004, it marked the second consecutive state title for the cheerleading team and fifth in the past seven years. And it was close as the Jaguars with a score of 69.10 barely edged out second-place Port Orange Spruce Creek by a single point (68.10). Western placed fourth with a score of 63.70.
Dillard has also found success as it marked the third state title in the past four years for the Panthers, who finished seven points ahead of runner-up Pembroke Pines Charter, 79.8 to 72.8.
Piper was the other local team in the top five as the Bengals placed fifth with a score of 62.9.
“So many long hours and so much hard work goes into what these girls do,” said Pein who just completed her fourth year as the coach. “I can’t be more proud of them.”
Senior members of the Coral Glades team were captains Gabriella Marcisak and Ilana Stein along with Moesha Brevett, Tiffany Brown, Sarah Driscoll, Jazmin Gallegos, Payton Harty, Kayla Perez and Brianna Ray.
Seniors on the Dillard squad were captains Alexis Dixon and Chelsea Wright along with Demi Pino, Jordan Davis, Danyelle Davis, Arbreonnia Boyd, La’kasjah Brown, La’dasjah Brown, Latraiva Byrd and Judy Pierre.
“Our mantra all season long has been ‘good, better, best’ and the girls really came through,” Merrell said of his team. “It’s all about peaking at the right time, and this group went up there and turned in their best performance of the season when they absolutely needed to.”
▪ Scheck Hillel 50, Sagemont 45 (OT): SAG: Bensky 10, Jorge 9, Housson 6, Nguyen 6, Parker 6, Castro 4, Talpos 4. HIL (11-7): Berkman 17, Assraf 11, Brener 9, S. Taieb 8, Givner 5. Half: 19-17 HIL. Three-pointers: Berkman 3, Housson 2, Bensky, Nguyen, Parker. Rebounds: S. Taieb 11, Brener 11. Assists: Givner 5, Birmaher 5. Steals: Givner 3. Blocks: S. Taieb 3.
▪ South Dade 72, Coral Shores 64: Gerard Marc-Lipscomb 32 points; Yadin Gonzalez and Tyrique Stevenson 11 points.
▪ Hialeah Gardens 80, Northwest Christian 60: HG (16-6): Lopez 26, Borrell 20, Galezo 15, Suarez 13, Condis 6. NWC (17-7): St.Jean 13, Cortis 10, Henry 9, Artistide 8, Smith 8, McNee 6, Valcour 6. Rebounds: Lopez 8. Assists: Suarez 9. Steals: Suarez 5. Three-pointers: Galezo 5.
▪ Mater Academy 47, Edison 26: MA (14-11): Alicandu 2, Dalmau 3, Bogle 5, Llanos 5, Evins 6, Alexander 11, ,Ramirez 15. EDI: Cooper 1, Frement 2, Hines 2, Johreor 2, Doug 6, Washington 13. Halftime: MA 18-11. Rebounds: Ramirez 9. Steals: Ramirez 4. Assists: Alexander 4. Threes: Washington 2, Alexander 2, Bogle, Llanos, Evins.
▪ Harris Select Duals at Deerfield Beach: Deerfield Beach 46, St. Thomas Aquinas 30; Deerfield Beach 36, Everglades 30; eerfield Beach 48, Chaminade-Madonna 12; Deerfield Beach 43, Monarch 42; Monarch 57, McArthur 22; Monarch 45, St. Thomas Aquinas 34; Monarch 54, Everglades 30; Monarch 54, Chaminade-Madonna 9; St. Thomas Aquinas 72, Chaminade-Madonna 0; St. Thomas Aquinas 48, Everglades 30; St. Thomas Aquinas 45, McArthur 34; McArthur 33, Deerfield Beach 32; McArthur 42, Chaminade-Madonna 6; Everglades 30, Chaminade-Madonna 0.