Cheer Places Eighth in State Finals

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

Update 10:00 p.m. 1/29: Robinson placed eighth out of eight teams in the finals with 64.4 points in the 1A Medium Varsity Division. Bay High School took home the state championship with 78.05 points and Providence High School was the state runner-up with 78 points.

When the semifinal results were announced, Robinson’s cheer team wasn’t at the USF Sun Dome. They were at home, all having left USF because they thought they wouldn’t make the finals.

So when captain Kelly Dorsey (’16) got a text from Coach Jeff Melesky saying the team tied for third with 65.6 points and grabbed the last spot to tonight’s finals, she, like the rest of her teammates, was a little overwhelmed.

Dorsey performing at the state semifinals.
Dorsey performing at the state semifinals.

“I honestly didn’t believe it at first,” Dorsey said. “We all had gone home thinking that we didn’t qualify and when I got the text from our coach I started crying.”

Overall, cheer’s season has been rocky, no more evident than at regionals two weeks ago, where the team only barely qualified for the state meet. For the cheerleaders, tonight is the chance they never thought they’d have at redemption.

“It’s amazing! I’m so proud of how far our team has come this season,” flyer Lauren Cohen (’17) said. “We have been working really hard for this moment and I know that we will make it count!”

Aaliyah Cole ('16) waves to the crowd at the state semifinals.
Aaliyah Cole (’16) waves to the crowd at the state semifinals.

For Dorsey and the other six seniors on the competition season, tonight is their final chance to finish out their high school careers on a high note. After placing 11th in the medium varsity division and sixth in 1A schools at regionals two weeks ago, taking third in the semifinals means they are finally proving their potential. Tonight, they’ll be able to see just how much that potential is.

Dorsey, like her teammates, is ready to prove all that Robinson cheer can be.

“I’m just thrilled for the chance to fix our mistakes from semifinals and have one last opportunity to leave everything on the mat.”

Cheer 1A Medium Varsity Finals start tonight at 6:16 p.m. and will continue every eight minutes until 7:04 p.m at the USF Sun Dome (4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620). Check @robinsonknights on Twitter for updates on the exact time slot if and when it becomes available. Awards will follow at the duration of today’s competitions, likely between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.