PRCC Cheerleaders take honors

Published 1:11 am Sunday, February 4, 2007

The 2006-07 Pearl River Community College cheerleaders recently concluded an outstanding year of competition.

Following a first-place finish in the 2006 UCA Cheer Championship last summer, the group recently finished seventh in the nationals at the College National Championship in Orlando, Fla.

The nationals are one of the most prestigious cheerleading competitions in the country,” said Candace Harper, PRCC cheerleading coach. “This was our second year to attend. Most of the other schools have been going for more than 10 years.”

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The PRCC cheerleaders made a skill and safety tape, which qualified them for the final round of competition.

“There were more than 150 cheer and dance teams competing in the competition from universities and community colleges around the world,” said Harper. “For most of our cheerleaders, it was their first time to set foot on the competition floor where they were in front of many photographers. They had to perform in Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, which had about 3,000 people watching.”

As the cheerleaders began the competition, PRCC’s fight song played and a crowd highlight tape played on three big screens.

“The crowd highlight tape showed our cheerleaders cheering at football games and trying to get the crowd involved,” said Harper. “The highlight tape was 15 percent of your total score. The highest you could get on your crowd tape was a 15 and PRCC was one of the few colleges in their division that scored a high 14.75, which is extremely rare.”

Once the fight song ended, the music for the competition routine began. As the cheerleaders began their routine, they performed a series of advanced stunting techniques and tumbling sequences. Their routine was two and one-half minutes long and consisted of one minute of cheering and 90 seconds of music for stunting and tumbling.

“Once the routine was over, the cheerleaders got to go to the back and watch a replay of the routine over the big screens,” said Harper. “They were excited and very proud that they competed in one of the toughest junior college competitions in the world and did so well.”

According to Harper, one of the biggest advantages of attending national competition is the scholarship opportunities that the PRCC cheerleaders get from universities. Last year, PRCC had five sophomores accept scholarships from universities after attending the national competition.

Said Harper, “It takes years to build a successful, recognizable program and the PRCC cheerleaders are well on their way.”

PRCC cheerleading tryouts for Fall 2007 are March 29, 30, and 31. For more information, telephone Candace Harper at 601_403_1327 or email at